Miroslav Lajcak: I remain optimistic about Minsk Group process

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OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Slovakia’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajcak has said he remains optimistic about OSCE Minsk Group process.

“I remain optimistic about the Minsk Group process. I maintain active communication with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, and meet with them regularly to get their assessment of progress. The Co-Chairs have my full support, and we remain positive about this process and the leaders’ commitment to strengthening the ceasefire and to undertaking measures in the humanitarian field,” he told Trend.

“At this point, I would like to see a continuation of good-faith efforts by the sides to reduce tensions and create an atmosphere conducive to peace and substantive progress in negotiations. Dialogue is the most important thing, and a precondition for any progress,” added Lajcak.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.