Stéphane Visconti, the French Co-Chair of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Minsk Group, was in Yerevan yesterday (13 September) for meetings with both the prime minister and foreign minister of Armenia.
In the meeting between Visconti and the Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, the men are reported to have discussed approaches to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and, in this context, emphasised the importance of the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs format.
In his meeting with Ararat Mirozyan, the Armenian minister of foreign affairs, Visconti was also joined yesterday by Sylvain Guiaugué, the deputy director of the Continental Europe Department of French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to the Armenian readout, the main discussion was on a wide range of issues on the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Mirozyan reportedly drew Visconti’s attention to the humanitarian situation that emerged from the 44-day war, expressing the need for the immediate and unconditional repatriation of Armenian servicemen, captured civilians and others that remained in Azerbaijani detention. According to information provided by the Armenian foreign ministry, the interlocutors stressed a need to resume the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group. In this context, Armenia’s top diplomat noted the Armenian side's support for the position expressed in the statements of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs since last year’s war, and particularly the need for a lasting and sustainable settlement to the conflict based on the “well-known principles” – the non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, the equally of peoples, and the right to self-determination.
On behalf of France, Visconti shares the Co-Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group with the Russian Co-Chair, Igor Popov, and the US Co-Chair, Andrew Schofer. The Minsk Group was established by the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (now the OSCE) in 1992 to encourage a peaceful, negotiated solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.