The European Union hopes that the next meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents will become a concrete step in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement, Malena Mard, head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan, told Trend June 6.
“As you know, the OSCE Minsk Group is working on the issue [the conflict’s settlement],” said Mard. “Of course, we support this process and hope that the next meeting, if it takes place in June, can become a concrete step towards the conflict’s settlement.”
She went on to add that this is also an important issue in the EU’s agenda.
Earlier, the US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick told Trend that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs met with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Brussels May 31 to follow up on the outcomes of the Vienna meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents held May 16, and prepare for the presidents’ next meeting.
A meeting was held in Vienna on May 16 with participation of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, French Minister of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, and special representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office, Andrzej Kasprzyk.
Although there is no date set for the next presidential meeting, the OSCE MG expects it to take place in June, added Warlick.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.