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Italy may make its contribution to settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict — top diplomat

During its chairmanship in OSCE in 2017, Italy plans to focus on frozen conflicts, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni EPA/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni

BAKU, November 8. /TASS/. Over its chairmanship in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2017, Italy plans to focus on frozen conflicts, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Monday after talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov.

"In the period of its chairmanship in the OSCE and non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council, we will focus on frozen conflicts," he said at a news conference. In his words, Italy can make a contribution to peace settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Mammadyarov, in turn, said that the meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian top diplomats is scheduled for early December in Germany’s Hamburg within the framework of an OSCE Ministerial Council meeting. "The Azerbaijani side gave its consent for this meeting," he said, adding that "passivity is observed" in the process of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.

"After the meeting (of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents) in St. Petersburg (in June 2016), we hoped for certain progress. We wanted to restore the atmosphere of the St. Petersburg meeting but the Armenian side, its leadership, is hampering the process," the Azerbaijani foreign minister said.

The situation along the contact line of conflicting sides in Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan, deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2, 2016 when fierce clashes began. The parties to the conflict accused each other of violating the truce. At a meeting of chiefs of General Staff of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow, an agreement was reached on the ceasefire from noon local time (08:00GMT) on April 5.

The participants in talks on Nagorno-Karabakh in Vienna on May 16 involving the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia and mediated by the foreign ministers from the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries (Russia, the United States and France) agreed to observe ceasefire in the region in compliance with the 1994-1995 accords. The parties to the conflict also agreed to complete as soon as possible the work on an OSCE tool on investigating incidents on the contact line.

In a trilateral statement adopted on June 20 following a summit of Russian Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in St. Petersburg, the sides confirmed their commitment to the normalization of the situation along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh.