BAKU, September 23. /TASS/. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh issue with the co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"A meeting between Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group has taken place in New York. The meeting discussed talks on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, as well as the situation in the conflict zone and the co-chairs’ action plan," the statement reads.
On September 23, the top diplomats of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Elmar Mammadyarov and Zograb Mnatsakanyan, are scheduled to hold a meeting in New York, which will be brokered by the OSCE Minsk Group.
The highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh (or Mountainous Karabakh) is a mostly Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan’s territory. It is a self-proclaimed independent republic, not recognized by any of the United Nations member states.
In 1988, hostilities broke out there between the forces reporting to the Baku government and Armenian residents. In 1994, a ceasefire was reached but relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia has remained strained ever since
Azerbaijan insists that its territorial integrity be restored and refugees return to Nagorno-Karabakh, which will create conditions for talks on the region’s status. Baku is ready to grant autonomy to the region but is unwilling to hold direct talks with Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, Armenia strongly opposes the region’s reunification with Azerbaijan and says that its right to self-determination should be considered
Russia, France and the United States co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group, which seeks to broker an end to the conflict. The Group also includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, as well as Belarus, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Turkey.