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Armenian top diplomat, Russian OSCE Minsk Group co-chair discuss Karabakh settlement

The sides stressed the importance of resuming the OSCE Minsk Group-brokered peace process, the Armenian foreign ministry said in a statement

YEREVAN, September 6. /TASS/. Issues of resuming the negotiating process to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were the focus of talks between Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Russian co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Igor Khovayev, the Armenian foreign ministry said on Monday.

"The sides discussed a wide range of issues of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and stressed the importance of resuming the OSCE Minsk Group-brokered peace process. Mirzoyan express the Armenian side’s support for the statements by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, which emphasize the necessity of the lasting and sustainable settlement of the conflict on the basis of well-known principles and elements," it said.

The Armenian top diplomat also stressed the importance of resolving priority humanitarian problems. "In this context, the minister noted the necessity of the unconditional repatriation of Armenian prisoners, civilian hostages and other detainees," the ministry said.

The press service of the Armenian government said earlier on Monday that Khovayev met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to discuss "ways of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict." In this context, they stressed the importance of the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

Situation at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border

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.

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.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 9, 2020, 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.

Under the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor that connects Armenia with the enclave to exercise control of the ceasefire observance. Apart from that, a number of districts came over to Baku’s control.