OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to Visit the Region in Early September

The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group said in a statement issued on Wednesday, that the efforts made so far by the sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have “not been sufficient to overcome their differences”, and that “additional actions are needed to reinforce the ceasefire and demonstrate a spirit of compromise”.

“To assist the parties in their efforts, the Co-Chairs plan to visit the region in early September,” the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassador Igor Popov of Russia, Bernard Fassier of France, and Robert Bradtke of the United States, said in their statement published on the OSCE website.

The Co-Chairs also informed, that they have met with the members of the Minsk Group July 28 in Vienna, Austria and briefed the Minsk Group on recent developments in negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including: discussions held in St. Petersburg June 17, 2010 by the presidents of the Russian Federation, Armenia, and Azerbaijan; the meeting of the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries with the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia July 17, 2010; and the joint statements issued by the Minsk Group Co-Chair countries in Muskoka and Almaty.

The OSCE Minsk Group was created in 1992 by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE, now Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)) to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Minsk Group is headed by a Co-Chairmanship consisting of France, Russia and the United States. Furthermore, the Minsk Group also includes the following participating States: Belarus, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Turkey as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Following the collapse of the USSR, the former Soviet nation-state of the Nagorno Karabagh Autonomous Region and the Armenian inhabited Shahumian region joined to form Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR). Independence of the NKR was declared on September 2, 1991, in accordance with fundamental norms of international rights.