The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs (Igor Popov of Russia, James Warlick of the United States, and Pierre Andrieu of France), together with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, traveled to the South Caucasus October 26-28.
The mediators issued a statement at the end of the mission, during which they met with the Presidents and Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the authorities of Nagorno Karabakh.
According to the Co-chairs, the Presidents confirmed their commitment to hold a summit by the end of the year to discuss key elements of the conflict settlement and other issues.
“At the meetings with the Presidents, we stressed the dangers of escalating violence along the line of contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border. The use of heavy weapons, such as mortars and rocket launchers, is unacceptable and threatens the civilian population. We deeply regret the casualties among innocent civilians and expect the sides to take every step to avoid violence,” the mediators said.
The Co-chairs met with representatives of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno Karabakh. “We encourage dialogue among all those affected by the conflict as an essential part of the peace process, and support programs that bring Armenians and Azerbaijanis together. We also met with the representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yerevan to discuss the implementation of data exchange program on missing persons, a humanitarian measure we fully support,” they noted.
Immediately after a routine crossing of the line of contact by the Co-chairs, “repeated gunfire from an undetermined location” forced OSCE monitors to take cover. This incident, according to the Co-chairs, aims to deliberately undermine the progress in settlement talks, highlighting the need for the OSCE to investigate violations of the ceasefire.