: Armenia and Azerbaijan to hold peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh - OSCE

09:27 May. 17, 2016

Armenia and Azerbaijan to hold peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh - OSCE

Armenian soldiers patrol on a tank in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. (AP photo)

Ceasefire agreements of 1994 and 1995 to be respected until new resolution is adopted

Armenia and Azerbaijan are ready for peace talks on Nagorn-Karabakh conflict, stated the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev at the meeting of OSCE Minsk group in Vienna. They reiterated there is no military solution to the problem unless both sides of the confrontation advance a peaceful resolution, reports Ukrainian news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda referring to the Joint Statement of OSCE Co-Chairs.

The ceasefire agreements signed in 1994 and 1995 are to be the basis for the upcoming negotiations. To reduce the risk of further violence, Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders agreed upon finalizing in the shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism along with expanding the existing Office of the OSCE Chairperson Personal Representative. Finally, the presidents arranged continuing the data exchange concerning the missing persons under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) committed during the Paris summit in October 2014.

The next round of peace talks is set to be held in June where Armenia and Azerbaijan are expected to mutually resume negotiations on a comprehensive settlement.

Read also Radio Liberty: White House calls for talks to settle Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Nagorno-Karabakh lies inside Azerbaijan but is controlled by ethnic Armenians. As the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991, it was the site of a bloody separatist war. Open hostilities came to an end in 1994, after the deaths of some 30,000 people. Since then, the mountainous, landlocked region has run its own affairs with heavy military and financial backing from Armenia.

Watch also Azerbaijani FM says ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh 'won't last long'

In the 90s, Russia helped broker the ceasefire which, at least officially, still remains in force. Under President Putin, Moscow is again trying to play the peacemaker. The Russian leader periodically hosts Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders for talks.

But progress toward a final settlement of the long-running dispute has proven elusive.

Watch also 20 years of war in Nagorno-Karabakh

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