French Co-Chair: We hope dialogue between Azerbaijan, Armenian presidents will intensify

Baku: “Negotiations and contacts through the MG mediation will continue from January”

“2014 was controversial in terms of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the OSCE Minsk Group’s French Co-Chair Pierre Andre, who has undertaken the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, told APA.

“Presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan have met three times at three summits organized by presidents Putin and Hollande and Secretary of State John Kerry, and this reflects full commitments of the Minsk Group’s three co-chair countries on the settlement of the conflict,” said the French co-chair.

The diplomat said that along with a number of diplomatic developments, there also has been some tension on the contact line and along the international border between the two countries which resulted in a relatively high number of casualties compared to previous years.

“The shooting of civilians, especially the downing of a military helicopter on November 12 is regrettable. This serious incident shows that it’s necessary to take some measures to reduce the tension, rebuild confidence, and prevent this sort of incidents from ever being repeated. The joint statement adopted by the ministers of the Minsk Group’s three co-chair countries during the OSCE Ministerial Council held in Basel on December 4 highlights the same elements. I’d like to get back to the Paris summit on 27 December which took place at the French president’s invitation on May 11-13 in Baku and Yerevan.

This summit allowing the resumption of direct dialogue between the two presidents was held in a relaxed and confident atmosphere. Three co-chairs of the Minsk Group and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office were involved in the negotiations. The outcomes were significant. The presidents decided to soon start the exchange of information on missing persons during conflict under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the ICRC has already started working in this field. It was decided that to discuss other confidence-building measures at the appropriate time, and I hope that it will happen soon. At the same time, the three presidents thoroughly discussed the negotiations.

President Hollande urged Presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan to demonstrate political will to overcome the divergences and prepare their people for peace. Year-end holidays may be useful to think about this year’s outcomes and future plans. Negotiations and contacts will continue from January through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group. We hope for progress in this compound file, as well as intensification of dialogue between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents at a new meeting to be held in September 2015 as part of the United Nations General Assembly as it was noted at the Paris Summit,” he added.

SOURCE: AZERI PRESS NEWS AGENCY