International mediators entered Nagorno-Karabakh through the heavily militarized Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” on Thursday after monitoring ceasefire there together with field representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group crossed into Karabakh’s northern Martakert district from Azerbaijani-controlled territory two days after meeting with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Baku.
No truce violations were reported during the monitoring. Authorities in Stepanakert said the mediators will observe the ceasefire regime at another section of the Karabakh frontline on their way back to Baku on Friday. They apparently held no talks with Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian leaderships.
The envoys -- Ian Kelly of the United States, Russia’s Igor Popov and France’s Jacques Faure -- met with Bako Sahakian, president of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, during their previous trip to Stepanakert late last month. They went on to hold similar talks with Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Yerevan.
The co-chairs met with Nalbandian and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Paris early earlier in March. It is not clear if they presented the conflicting parties with new peace proposals during those and subsequent negotiations.