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Armenian top diplomat notes ‘remarkable unity’ of Russia, US, France on Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan lauded the talks in Washington on Nagorno-Karabakh regulation as very productive
Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan Press service of the Foreign Ministry of Russian Federation/TASS
Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan
© Press service of the Foreign Ministry of Russian Federation/TASS

WASHINGTON, October 24. /TASS/. Armenia thinks that there is "remarkable unity" among Russia, the US and France on conflict regulation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said on Friday during a video conference held by the Atlantic Council.

"What is very, very important is that US efforts are very much in consolidation of the joint combined work of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs: France, Russia and the United States. This is one of the formats in which these three countries have been considerably united in their effort and considerably coordinated and consolidated," he said.

"This is exactly the format in which despite the various disagreeing points of views amongst the co-chairs and many other issues on the international agenda, there has been a remarkable unity amongst the co-chairs," Mnatsakanyan stressed.

According to Foreign Minister, Armenia supports the idea of deploying peacekeeping forces to Nagorno-Karabakh. Zohrab Mnatsakanyan noted that sending peacekeepers to the area could help sustain a ceasefire in the region.

"Peacekeepers on the ground is part of the story. Peacekeepers on the ground is the way in which we need to consolidate, address any risks against the sustainability of the ceasefire [in Nagorno-Karabakh]. And that has been part of the story for a very long time, about the way in which we are seeking the peaceful resolution. And now it is also part of the story," the Armenian top diplomat said.

"This is very important. The peacekeeping question is exactly one of the critical questions in all our discussions, in all our approaches that had been before and that are now," Mnatsakanyan stressed.

Armenian Foreign Minister lauded the talks in Washington on Nagorno-Karabakh regulation as very productive.

"We had very productive meetings in the morning, and we will continue our work together on finding the way in which we pursue very specific and very important objectives: establishing the ceasefire, going back to the peaceful resolution," he said on Friday during a video conference organized by the Atlantic Council.

Earlier on Friday, Mnatsakanyan held meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Robert O'Brien. US officials held similar talks with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, however, the meetings were separate.

The Nagorno-Karabakh regulation talks are held within the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by Russia, the US and France since 1992. On October 1, leaders of Russia, the US and France Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron issued a joint statement on the events in Nagorno-Karabakh, condemning the escalation of violence on the line of contact. Putin, Trump and Macron called for an immediate ceasefire.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.

The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.