00:08 GMT15 July 2020
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    The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to hold a summit under the auspices of OSCE before the end of the year to discuss key elements of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement and other issues, according to the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group.

    VIENNA (Sputnik) — The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed their readiness to hold a high-level meeting before the end of 2015, the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group said Thursday.

    The OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France, has been mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since 1992. The co-chairs of the group — Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, James Warlick of the United States, and Pierre Andrieu of France, alongside OSCE Personal Representative Andrzej Kasprzyk, visited the region on October 26-28.

    "The Presidents confirmed their commitment to hold a summit under the auspices of the Co-Chairs before the end of the year to discuss key elements of a settlement and other issues," a statement issued following the ambassadors' visit reads.

    During their meetings with the presidents and foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the de facto authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh, the ambassadors stressed the inadmissibility of the use of heavy weapons, such as mortars and rocket launchers, that seriously threaten civilians, the OSCE added.

    According to the statement, the OSCE ambassadors also held meetings with the Azerbaijani community representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh in Baku and the representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yerevan. The implementation of a data exchange on missing persons was discussed with the representative of the Red Cross.

    The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted in February 1988, after the predominantly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region announced its secession from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The territory proclaimed itself independent in 1991, prompting a large-scale war that lasted until a Russian-brokered ceasefire was signed in 1994. However, tensions in the region remain high.


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