The US has urged the 2018 Italian OSCE Chairmanship to support the Minsk Group efforts to find peaceful solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to the OSCE, Harry R. Kamian, announced about it in its statement in response to Chairperson-in-Office, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano at the OSCE special permanent council meeting in Vienna on Jan.11, APA reported.
"On the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, we encourage you to provide full and unwavering support to your personal representative and his mission in support of the Minsk Group’s efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution," the statement reads.
The mission added that recent hopeful signs from the 2017 Geneva summit meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan should be taken into the account.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in December 1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.