Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers’ meeting in Geneva is underway

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YEREVAN, January 30. /ARKA/. The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov, started in Geneva, Switzerland, Anna Naghdalyan, a spokeswoman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, said in a Facebook post.

She said the meeting is mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Igor Popov (Russia), Stéphane Visconti (France), Andrew Schoffer (USA) and personal representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.

As noted earlier, the meeting will discuss a wide range of issues related to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.

On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year.

On April 2, 2016, Azerbaijan launched military assaults along the entire perimeter of its contact line with Nagorno-Karabakh. Four days later a cease-fire was reached.

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