Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov (3rd from l) is seen together with his Armenian counterpart and OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

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Caption: Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov (3rd from l) is seen together with his Armenian counterpart and OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

Minsk group concerned over provocative statements

The OSCE Minsk group co-chairmen facilitating the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia have expressed their concern over recent “inflammatory rhetoric”, and urged both sides to refrain from provocative statements and promote and maintain what they call “an atmosphere conducive to peace and favorable to substantive negotiations".

“The Co-chairs noted with concern that recent provocative statements, inflammatory rhetoric and possible steps intended to change the situation on the ground in tangible ways could undermine the settlement process”, the statement reads.

Yerevan escalated tensions with Baku in late May, when Armenia held a presidential inauguration in the Nagorno-Karabakh territories, calling it “a democratic process.”

“The fact that the Armenian Foreign Ministry called the show around the so-called inauguration in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan a “democratic process” testifies not only the true nature of this aggressor state but also how far it is from the concept of democracy”, Azerbaijan Foreign Affairs spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva said in a statement on 21 May.

Azerbaijan Foreign Minister spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva tweets on the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs meeting with Azerbaijani and Armenian ministers on 29-30 June.

Coming together in an online meeting held on 29-30 June with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan to discuss the current dynamics of the conflict and the upcoming steps in the peace process, the co-chairs also added that no military solution to the conflict was possible, urging both sides to take additional steps to strengthen ceasefire and peace in the region.

Former Foreign Minister Tofig Zulfugarov told Meydan TV that the recent statement by the co-chairs are unequivocally measures and proposals to freeze the current situation.

He added that the statement did not address any issues of concern to Azerbaijani people and society.

Since late 1980s, Azerbaijan and Armenia remain in a conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region which was occupied with the Armenian military support early 1990s. The conflict, although labeled frozen internationally, flare up from time to time leaving many killed and injured over the borderline.

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