VIENNA, 24 March 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) were in Vienna on March 23-24, where they briefed the Minsk Group and Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut on their recent and upcoming activities as mediators of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Co-Chairs also presented the “Report of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ Field Assessment Mission to the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan Surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Executive Summary of which is posted on the OSCE website: http://www.osce.org/mg/76209. The harsh reality of the situation in these territories has reinforced the view of the Co-Chairs that the status quo is unacceptable, and that only a peaceful, negotiated settlement can bring the prospect of a better, more certain future to the people who used to live in the territories and those who live there now. The Co-Chairs intend this report to be forward-looking — offering all parties a vision of how these areas could contribute to peace and prosperity, rather than being a source of tension and conflict.
The Co-Chairs will travel again to the region in the near future to continue discussions on the Basic Principles, building on the positive momentum of the March 5 Sochi summit. They also will develop with their interlocutors concrete measures to fulfill the commitments made at Sochi regarding investigations – with the participation of all sides – of ceasefire violations.
Noting the continuing importance of restraint by the sides both on the ground and in public statements, the Co-Chairs consider unacceptable any use or threat of force, including against civil aircraft. In that respect, they strongly condemn the senseless cycle of killings and retaliations along the front lines. They reiterated their long-standing position that all sides should prepare their populations for peace, not war.