Minsk Group Co-Chairs meet Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan on margins of UN General Assembly in New York

The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America) met separately and jointly with the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, and the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, between 25 and 27 September on the margins of the UN General Assembly.  The Co-Chairs were joined in their meetings by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk.  They also met with the OSCE Secretary General, UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, and a representative of the Italian OSCE Chairmanship.

The Ministers continued negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Co-Chairs and the Ministers discussed the situation in the region and sought clarification with respect to several recent statements and incidents of concern.  The Co-Chairs expressed deep regret over the continuing and unnecessary loss of life.  They cautioned the Ministers about the dangers of escalation, called on the parties to engage constructively in a positive atmosphere, and to avoid inflammatory rhetoric.  The Co-Chairs underscored that a comprehensive settlement will require compromises on all sides.

In this context, the Ministers confirmed the importance of taking measures to intensify the negotiation process and to take additional steps to reduce tensions.  The Ministers agreed to meet again before the end of the year.

The Co-Chairs plan to visit the region in the near future and will then brief the OSCE Minsk Group and the Permanent Council on the status of negotiations.