Lavrov Endorses Grassroot Contacts Among Armenians, Azerbaijanis In Karabakh Peace Process

Lavrov Endorses Grassroot Contacts Among Armenians, Azerbaijanis in Karabakh Peace Process

The resumption of contacts among the Karabakh communities is an important step toward settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday following talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov

BAKU (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 03rd December, 2019) The resumption of contacts among the Karabakh communities is an important step toward settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday following talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov.

"I believe this is very important because any decision has to be made by people who live on this land. The closer people communicate with each other and the more objective journalists are in covering the developments on both sides of the contact line, the easier and more sustainable the agreements that we hope to reach will be. I strongly support the resumption of contacts among the Karabakh communities," the Russian minister said.

According to Lavrov, earlier this year the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia agreed on a document, "unofficial, but concrete," to promote humanitarian exchanges.

"It includes issues pertaining to the dead persons, prisoners, contacts between journalists were mentioned and contacts among people in general," Lavrov added.

In February 1988, the overwhelmingly Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh autonomy expressed will to secede from the Soviet Azerbaijan citing its right to self-determination under the Soviet law and proclaimed independence after holding a referendum in 1991. Azerbaijan, in retaliation, launched an offensive and lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and several other areas around it.

Since 1992, peace in Nagorno-Karabakh has been mediated by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Minsk group, co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States. Grassroot contacts, in the meantime, have been stalled. Nagorno-Karabakh has closed it border with Azerbaijan, while Baku denies entry to the country to any person of Armenian descent.

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