I thank the French Ambassador for the update given on behalf of the Minsk Group co-chairs.
Norway appreciates the consolidation of the ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. However, to ensure a prosperous long-lasting peace in the region, further steps are needed, this includes the need for expedient exchanges of prisoners of war and other detained persons, as well as remains of those fallen on both sides of the conflict.
The people living in the affected areas need certainty that the conflict will not reignite. History shows that sustainable, stable and lasting solutions to conflicts are difficult to achieve without establishing a true understanding of what has taken place. Norway encourages the parties to initiate a constructive dialogue in order to reach a stable, lasting solution for the region.
We believe that the Minsk Group, its co-chairs and the Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office on the conflict dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference can play a positive role in such dialogue. The OSCE can also assist in the reconciliation through projects in the affected areas. Such assistance would be easier to facilitate if the OSCE had visible and substantive field presences in the South Caucasus.
Norway encourages both parties to work closely with the OSCE and other relevant international organisations in order to reach lasting stability.