BRUSSELS, Belgium—On July 11, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov met in Brussels at the initiative and presence of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-chairs Igor Popov, Stéphane Visconti, and Richard Hoagland. Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, was also present at the meeting.
Discussions were held on the prospects of advancing the Artsakh negotiating process. During the meeting, Nalbandian underscored the importance of stabilization of the situation on the Line of Contact (LoC) and in this regard emphasized the necessity to implement the agreements, reached during the Vienna and St. Petersburg Summits.
The Minsk Group Co-Chairs asked the two Ministers to convey to their respective Presidents their proposal on organizing a Summit in the course of this year.
At the conclusion of the meeting, an agreement was reached to convene the next meeting between the Ministers in September in New York in on the sidelines of the General Assembly of the United Nations. No further details were released regarding the meeting.
A day earlier, on July 10, Nalbandian and Mammadyarov participated in an informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries in Chisinau. At a press conference following the meeting, Nalbandian responded to the comments of the head of the Azerbaijani delegation on the Artsakh conflict.
“Time and time again, the representatives of Azerbaijan abuse this platform, making provocative statements instead of addressing its theme—the cooperation within the Eastern Partnership. The security in our region continues to be challenged by the persistent threats of Azerbaijan to use force in the context of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict. On April 2016 Azerbaijan unleashed a large scale aggression against Nagorno-Karabagh that was accompanied by grave violations of international humanitarian law, atrocities against civilian population, including children, women and elderly persons, mutilation of the bodies, Daesh-style beheadings,” Nalbandian said.
At the press conference, Nalbandian noted that Azerbaijani leadership once again resorted to the tactics of “notorious terrorist organizations” and as many times before, used its civilian population as a human shield for shelling Artsakh by heavy weaponry, including by TR-107 multiple rocket launcher systems.
“As long as Azerbaijan fails to implement its international commitments under 1994-1995 trilateral ceasefire agreements, refuses to implement the Vienna and St. Petersburg Summit commitments, especially on the creation of the mechanism for investigation of the ceasefire violations, that can become also a mechanism for prevention, the Azerbaijani leadership bears full responsibility for all consequences,” Nalbandian concluded.