US urges Italian OSCE Chairmanship to support Minsk Group efforts to find peaceful solution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The US has urged the 2018 Italian OSCE Chairmanship to support the Minsk Group efforts to find peaceful solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The US mission to the OSCE announced about it in its statement in response to Chairperson-in-Office, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano at the OSCE special permanent council meeting in Vienna on Jan.11.

"On the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, we encourage you to provide full and unwavering support to your personal representative and his mission in support of the Minsk Group's efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution," the statement reads.

The mission added that recent hopeful signs from the 2017 Geneva summit meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan should be taken into the account.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.