The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore, in Yerevan today called on all parties to refrain from the use or threat of force and to abstain from retaliatory measures.
"I strongly condemn the recent violent incidents. This conflict will not be resolved by the use of force. The cycle of violence must stop," said the OSCE Chairperson following a meeting with the Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian. "This is the same message I will deliver in Azerbaijan on Thursday. The time has come to build trust; this requires will and commitment on the part of all those involved to seek peace."
The Chairperson stressed his support for the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs: "The OSCE can help to bridge differences between countries and between peoples. We can provide a forum for dialogue and support the sides to strengthen the ceasefire and find a negotiated solution." "However, in order to make progress towards resolving this long- standing conflict, the sides should further advance their work on the general principles of a resolution, remove snipers from the line of contact, agree on a mechanism for investigating incidents on the frontlines and find ways to implement the recent agreement by the Presidents to develop people-to-people contacts," he said, emphasizing the need for confidence-building measures.
OSCE can contribute to resolution of conflicts, but it cannot force its position upon the conflicting parties, he said. Gilmore recalled that OSCE had repeatedly urged the parties to remove snipers from the line of contact to contribute to resolution of the conflict. In addition, he said, it is necessary to build confidence and promote interaction of the two peoples. The people living in those territories deserve peace and stability and not fragile and instable status-quo, Gilmore.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office said that the major goal of his visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan is to urge the parties to observe the key principles of the OSCE MG, in particular, non-use of force, respect for the peoples' right to self-determination and observe territorial integrity of states.
Since 1992 the OSCE Minsk Group represented by co-chairs from Russia, U.S. and France has been mediating in resolution of the conflict unleashed by Azerbaijan in 1988. At present the peace process is based on the Madrid Principles suggested by the OSCE MG in 2007 in Madrid and renovated in 2009.