The Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers, Zohrab Mnatsakanian and Elmar Mamedyarov respectivally, met the OSCE Minsk Group co-Chairs Stéphane Visconti of France, Andrew Schofer of the United States and Igor Papov of Russia, alongside the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk in Washington today to discuss issues related to Nagorno Karabakh.
The two foreign ministers, Mnatsakanian and Mamedyarov, also met up with the National Security Adviser to the U.S. president, John Bolton; they did not meet their counterpart Michael Pompeo however.
Left: Azeri foreign minister Mamedyarov. Right: Armenian foreign minister Mnatsakanian
The OSCE Mininsk Group published the following joint statement, in which alongside habitual expressions of the need to resolve the issue, underlined the need to refrain from “the use of snipers and engeineering works alogn the line of contact and the international border”. The joint statement stated the following:
WASHINGTON, DC, 20 June 2019 – The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America) hosted consultations between Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on 20 June in Washington. The Co-Chairs met separately and then jointly with the Ministers. They also briefed Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker on the situation on the ground and the status of settlement talks. Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk also took part in these meetings.
During their discussions, the participants exchanged views on recent developments on the ground and core issues of the settlement process. The Foreign Ministers clarified their positions and expectations with respect to implementation of the humanitarian and security measures proposed by the mediators during their last trip to the region.
Noting with regret recent casualties, the Co-Chairs urged the sides to take immediate measures to restore an atmosphere conducive to peace and favourable to substantive talks. They called on the sides to reaffirm their commitment to observe the ceasefire strictly and to refrain from any provocative action, including the use of snipers and engineering works along the line of contact and the international border.
During their conversation with the Co-Chairs, the Foreign Ministers agreed upon the importance of taking full advantage of the existing direct communication links in order to react swiftly to reduce the risk of escalation.
The Foreign Ministers agreed to meet again in the near future under the auspices of the Co-Chairs.
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