Minsk Group co-chairs issue statement

Armenia - OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs (from L to R) Igor Popov (Russia), Robert Bradtke (U.S.) and Bernard Fassier (France), Yereva,03Jul,2010

BAKU, 6 September 2010 – The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, Bernard Fassier of France, and Robert Bradtke of the United States, released the following statement today

“As part of their efforts to facilitate negotiations for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Ambassador Bernard Fassier of France; Ambassador Robert Bradtke of the United States; Ambassador Igor Popov of the Russian Federation) expect to be particularly active in the months leading up to the OSCE Summit.

The Co-Chairs will travel to Baku, Yerevan, and Nagorno-Karabakh September 6-10 to discuss additional actions necessary to strengthen the cease-fire, to promote a spirit of compromise by all parties, and to finalize modalities for further action. During the third full week of September, the Co-Chairs will travel to Washington, D.C. and then to New York to work with the sides on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

Between late September and mid October, the Co-Chairs will return to the region to conduct the field assessment mission to observe the humanitarian situation in the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh that they had discussed previously with the sides in recent months and the principle of which had already been agreed with the sides before summer. A team of high-level advisors and experts, including representatives from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and others, are expected to accompany the Co-Chairs on their mission, which will be the first international mission in these territories since the OSCE fact finding mission in early 2005. Shortly thereafter, the Co-Chairs will brief the OSCE Minsk Group in Vienna on their findings. Then the Co-Chairs will present their annual activity report to the OSCE Permanent Council and actively prepare the OSCE Summit in Astana with the sides.

During this period of intense activity, the Co-Chairs urge all parties to respect strictly the cease-fire and to exercise restraint on the ground, to make every effort to foster the spirit of compromise necessary to make progress, to abstain from inflammatory public statements, and to demonstrate the convincing political will to engage in serious dialogue. In response to the most recent incidents along the Line of Contact, they also strongly condemn any violation of the cease-fire, in particular incursions across the Line of Contact, deplore useless loss of life, and recall the statement of their Ministers in Almaty, that the use of force created the current situation, and its use again would only lead to suffering, devastation, and a legacy of conflict and hostility that would last for generations.”