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The Statement by The OSCE Minsk Group: The Possibility of Negotiating is Not Lost Yet

Within the framework of the UN General Assembly, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs held both separate and joint meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the results of which were summarized in the statement of the Co-Chairs. The fact that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs met with the sides is positive in terms of maintaining the negotiating format of the Karabakh issue, and the content of the statement is crucial to evaluating the current stage of the conflict and making possible predictions.

The statement by co-chairmen of the Minsk Group, Igor Popov (Russia), Stefan Visconti (France) and Andrew Shoffer (US), first noted that the co-chairs discussed the regional situation with the parties and asked "to clarify recent incidents and concerns". Here, of course, first of all, the border tension was mentioned, and from this point of view the co-chairs actually demanded clarifications from the Azerbaijani side regarding the ceasefire violations and the victims. As to making explanations on the statements made, the mediators first of all tried to understand the new accents of the Armenian side in the context of the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh issue.

Prime Minister Pashinyan's statements and approaches were not new in nature and type, but have never been marked by such emphasis and importance before. For example: "Artsakh should become a part of Armenia" (stated at the meeting with Armenian businessmen in Moscow on September 8)," Artsakh authorities should present Artsakh people to the negotiation process" (stated at the special session of the National Assembly presenting the Government program on June 7) etc...

The Co-Chairs in turn pointed out that the comprehensive settlement demands concessions from all sides, reaffirming that peaceful settlement of the problem without mutual concessions is just impossible.

It is very important that at the end of the statement it was clearly noted that the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to meet once again by the end of the year. This is an important indicator that the peaceful, negotiating solution remains a priority. It is noteworthy that the co-chairs also mentioned about organizing a visit to the region in the near future. This also proves that the settlement of the Karabakh problem has not yet come out of the negotiation format and the states representing the co-chairing countries, the USA, Russia and France, continue to make efforts to maintain stability and peace in the region.

Summing up the statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, we can conclude that the negotiation process is resumed or, at least, the co-chairmanship is making efforts to activate it again. And despite the fact that the Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting is not on the agenda yet, the possibility of negotiating at the level of Foreign Ministers seems to be preserved.

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