OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen to hold talks in Armenia

Co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group will hold talks in Armenia with the country’s leaders on April 11-12 on the settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said.

The Minsk Group, comprising Russia, France and the United States, mediates the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over breakaway Nagorny Karabakh.

The co-chairs, namely Russia’s Igor Popov, the United States’ Robert Bradtke and France’s Bernard Fassier, will meet with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

On March 24, the co-chairmen presented a report on last year’s visit to the region and issued a statement.

The issue of Nagorny Karabakh, a breakaway region on Azerbaijani territory with a predominantly ethnic Armenian population, has been a sticking point in relations between the two former Soviet states.

Ways to peacefully settle the conflict were last discussed in early March at a meeting of the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian presidents in the southern Russian resort of Sochi.

The Karabakh conflict first erupted in 1988, when the region claimed independence from Azerbaijan to join Armenia. More than 30,000 people are estimated to have died on both sides between 1988 and 1994. Nagorny Karabakh has remained in Armenian control since then.

The Caucasus neighbors continue to accuse each other of violating the ceasefire agreed in 1994.

YEREVAN, April 11 (RIA Novosti)

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