SEC.PR/414/10 13 September 2010 ENGLISH only
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PRESS RELEASE Minsk Group co-chairs issue statement YEREVAN, 9 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: 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) travelled to Baku, Yerevan, and Nagorno-Karabakh September 6-9. On September 8, with the facilitation of the Permanent Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk and the military authorities of all sides, the Co-Chairs crossed the Line of Contact (LoC) on foot, en route to Stepanakert/Khankhendi, to highlight that the LoC is not to become a permanent barrier between neighboring peoples and to demonstrate to all parties that the ceasefire of 1994 must be strictly respected. This marked the first time the mediators have crossed the LoC since November 2001. In their meetings with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on September 7, with Armenian President President Serzh Sargsian on September 9, and with the de facto authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 8, the Co-Chairs presented their work plan for the months ahead, as described in their press statement of September 6. They stressed that a more constructive approach by all sides will be needed to be able to implement their plan and to make progress in the months leading up to the OSCE Summit. The Co-Chairs held discussions with all parties regarding the previously agreed Field Assessment Mission to the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, which they will conduct between late September and mid-October. They presented the elements of their mission, and they will finalize their preparations for the mission in the nearest future. The Co-Chairs again strongly urged all parties to respect the cease-fire and exercise restraint on the ground and in their public statements, and called for an end to incursions across the Line of Contact.
While all parties reconfirmed their commitment to the 1994 cease-fire, the Co-Chairs reiterated that it is critical that this commitment is carried out in practice. The Co-Chairs welcomed the decision by Azerbaijan to postpone consideration of its resolution in the United Nations General Assembly. At the same time they reiterated that the OSCE Minsk Group remains the sole framework for a peaceful settlement of the NagornoKarabakh conflict. Before they return to the region to carry out the Field Assessment Mission, 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, as they had previously announced. For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/item/46006.html