Joint Statement by the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries (U.S. National Statement)
As delivered by Ambassador James S. Gilmore III
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
December 11, 2020
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The United States, in our national capacity, welcomes the December 3 statement by Minister Lavrov, Minister LeDrian, and Deputy Secretary of State Biegun. We urge Armenia and Azerbaijan to heed the call of the Minsk Group Co-Chair countries’ Heads of Delegation to implement fully their commitments of the November 9 arrangement regarding Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts, as well as their commitments from the previous ceasefires and meeting in Geneva on October 29. We urge the sides to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the OSCE CiO’s Personal Representative to facilitate the immediate exchange of detainees and the return of remains, as well as the other steps arranged in Geneva on October 29. We also urge the sides to provide for the humane treatment of all detainees and hold accountable all those found to be responsible for abuses against them. We echo the call of the Co-Chairs for the parties to facilitate the full and prompt departure from the region of all foreign mercenaries.
We urge Armenia and Azerbaijan to utilize the Minsk Group Co-Chair mechanism to negotiate a sustainable, long-term resolution based on the principles of the Helsinki Final Act: non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
We are concerned about the urgent humanitarian situation and welcome the assistance provided by the ICRC as we discussed earlier during this Permanent Council in response to the President of the ICRC.
Mr. Chair, the Minsk Group Co-Chair format offers the best chance to achieve the sustainable peace the people of the region deserve. We urge the members of this Permanent Council to reaffirm their strong support for this format as representatives of all participating States, including through the OSCE’s Unified Budget.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.