Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian met Friday, Jan 24, in Paris with Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov, as well as the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russia, Jacques Faure of France, and James Warlick of the United States). Personal representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, also participated in the meeting.
Separate meetings between the ministers and the Co-chairs were followed by expanded talks, with the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the focus of the discussion, basing on the outcomes of the presidential meeting in Vienna in November 2013.
Minister Nalbandian drew the Co-chairs’ attention to the ongoing ceasefire violations and threats by the Azerbaijani side, which hamper the negotiations and undermine the prospects of peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Ambassador Kasprzyk, in turn, briefed the Co-chairs on recent developments on the border and the line of contact.
The mediators expressed “their deep concern over continued violence in the region, and stressed that recent incidents undermine negotiations and diminish the prospects for peace. They called on the sides to fully and unconditionally respect the terms of the ceasefire agreement.”
The Co-chairs plan to travel to the region in the coming weeks to continue talks with the Presidents.
“We need a greater political commitment from all parties to find a peaceful settlement for Nagorno Karabakh. Status quo should be unacceptable,” amb. Warlick said on his Twitter account.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan hurried to present a distorted picture of Paris talks. Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said that “restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity was in the focus of discussion.”
Commenting on the above-mentioned statement, press secretary for the Armenian MFA, Tigran Balayan, said that the information spread by the Azerbaijani ministry is not true to fact. “There is an impression that Azerbaijan is holding talks with itself, making statements it favors and trying to pass the desirable for reality. Distortion of facts has become a special style of the Azeri propaganda,” Balayan said.