The High Representative of the European Union (EU), Catherine Ashton, congratulated the progress made by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, who met last Tuesday in Vienna in search of a peaceful solution for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliev, presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, respectively, agreed to find a peaceful solution for Nagorno-Karabakh, the result of a territorial dispute that has been separated from both countries for more than 20 years. “The agreement of the presidents to proceed with the negotiations and to meet again during the next months is encouraging,” indicated Michael Mann, spokesman for Ms. Ashton, also vice president of the European Commission (EC).
The EU is “prepared to participate in the renewed efforts towards finding a peaceful solution for Nagorno-Karabakh,” Mann said, reiterating the support of the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in finding a resolution of the differences between the two states. Through the so-called “Minsk Group” (Russia, United States and France) the Organisation is seeking a peaceful agreement between both countries, conflicted by the dispute over Azerbaijan territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, occupied by Armenia.
The origin of the conflict goes back to the times of the now extinct Soviet Union, when the mainly Armenian populated Nagorno-Karabakh asked to be incorporated with Armenia, after which a war exploded (1991-1994) in which some 25,000 people died.