BAKU, 30 November 2011 - The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Bernard Fassier of France, Robert Bradtke of the United States, and Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, released the following statement today:
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Bernard Fassier of France, Robert Bradtke of the United States, and Igor Popov of the Russian Federation) and Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk (Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office) traveled November 28-30 to Yerevan and Baku. The Co-Chairs were accompanied by Ambassador Jacques Faure, who will succeed Ambassador Fassier as the French Co-Chair of the Minsk Group. In Yerevan the Co-Chairs met with President Sargsian, Foreign Minister Nalbandian, and Defense Minister Ohanyan; in Baku they met with President Aliyev, Foreign Minister Mammadyarov, and Defense Minister Abiyev. In all these meetings, the Co-Chairs reaffirmed the strong commitment of their countries to assisting the sides in achieving a lasting and peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Noting recent reports of incidents along the Line of Contact, the Co-Chairs stressed again to the Presidents the importance of respecting the 1994 ceasefire agreement. They reiterated that such incidents demonstrate the need to implement the proposed mechanism to investigate incidents along the front-lines, on which the Presidents have agreed in principle. The Co-Chairs also discussed additional measures for enhancing confidence through people-to-people exchanges and efforts to preserve places of worship, cultural sites, and cemeteries.
On November 29, the Co-Chairs crossed the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan by foot, and met on each side with local officials to discuss the situation in the border region. On November 30, the Co-Chairs met with representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh Azerbaijanis, and underscored that a peaceful settlement must include the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence.
Looking ahead to the December OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Vilnius, the Co-Chairs urged the sides to use this opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to seeking a peaceful settlement and moving beyond the unacceptable status quo.