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Armen Mirzoyan

Aliyev Rules Out Any Revival of OSCE Minsk Group Format

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, during a state-sponsored press conference in Shushi on July 21, declared that Azerbaijan will never accept any revival of the OSCE Minsk Group that oversaw years of negotiations between Yerevan and Baku to resolve the Karabakh conflict.

“We don't have very good memories of their actions,” Aliyev said.

Aliyev, fielding questions at the conference in Shushi, said steps to revive the Minsk Group negotiating format are practically impossible, likening the format to a “broken vase.”

He said there are two mediation processes taking place today; the Brussels format and talks hosted by Russia and the U.S. Aliyev emphasized that Baku views the Brussels talks as "some kind of additional or helping mechanism to the direct interaction at the level of the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan". "And I think that it still works more or less successfully," he added.

Aliyev said these various mediation efforts are part of a global strategy pitting opposing interests in the region.

The OSCE Minsk Group, which was co-chaired by the USA, France and Russia ceased to function after Russia's invasion of Ukraine because contacts between the co-chairs stopped. Washington and Paris support Kiev, and Moscow accuses them of arming Ukraine. Now, the co-chairing countries regularly accept talks of the high-ranking officials of the two countries separately. Apart from the Brussels meeting, the foreign ministers of the two countries met in Washington.

Photo: Press service of the President of Azerbaijan

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