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Aliyev says OSCE Minsk Group played no part in Karabakh settlement

The talks seeking peace for Nagorno-Karabakh have been ongoing within the OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by Russia, the United States and France

BAKU, December 12. /TASS/. The OSCE Minsk Group has not played any part in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said on Saturday at a meeting with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Stephane Visconti of France and Andrew Schofer of the United States.

"Unfortunately, the Minsk Group has not played any role in resolving the conflict although the Minsk Group had had a mandate for 28 years. I myself had been taking part in negotiation for 17 years. However, although the Minsk Group was putting forward ideas and was trying to act creatively, it yielded no result," Aliyev said.

The president of Azerbaijan pointed out that the conflict settlement was a pivotal change for the region.

"Currently, there is an absolutely new situation in the region," Aliyev stressed.

According to the president, he agrees with Russian President Vladimir Putin's words that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a page of history.

The talks seeking peace for Nagorno-Karabakh have been ongoing within the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), co-chaired by Russia, the United States and France, since 1992.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of 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.

On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. Under the agreement, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides maintained the positions that they have held and then, Armenian forces turned over control of certain districts to Baku. In addition, Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the contact line and to the Lachin corridor, which links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.