It is impossible to maintain the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for long, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier said while on a visit in Yerevan on June 29, arka.am reported.
Steinmeier said that two months have passed since the eruption of hostilities in this region.
“I think that it became clear, not only to the parties of the conflict, but also to those in the OSCE, that this way, it is impossible to maintain the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for long,” Steinmeier added.
According to him, it is necessary to make efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict.
He reminded that the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia have recently met twice – in Vienna (May 16) and in St. Petersburg (June 20).
“If to sum up these meetings, the steps taken by OSCE Minsk Group, we can say that all this has calmed down the situation on the contact line. We must say that we’re on the right track and should use all opportunities to keep this situation and try to make the negotiating process more visible,” he said.
Steinmeier said that in order to achieve this, efforts from both the OSCE MG co-chairs and the willingness of sides to compromise are necessary. He expressed hope that the complete negotiations will begin this year.
“I can only say that what happened cannot happen again. We must try to find ways to provide security and look for possibilities for continuing the negotiations. By doing so, we can stabilize the ceasefire regime. We will also try to expand the office of the personal representative of the OSCE Chairman Andrzej Kasprzyk,” said Steinmeier.
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.