MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. /TASS/. Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement welcome de-escalation in the area and are ready to continue efforts in the interests of peace settlement, according to a press statement posted on the OSCE website on Thursday.

The co-chairs, together with Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk visited the region from October 29 to November 2.

In their press statement, they noted that the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders “confirmed that the level of violence has fallen significantly since they reaffirmed in Dushanbe their commitment to reduce tensions.”

“The Co-Chairs welcomed these developments, commended the sides for implementing constructive measures in good faith, and expressed support for the leaders’ readiness to continue their dialogue,” the documents says. “The Co-Chairs stressed the importance of sustaining a climate of trust for intensive negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

The conflict between neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians, broke out in the late 1980s.

In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Thousands left their homes on both sides in a conflict that killed 30,000. A truce was called between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh republic on one side and Azerbaijan on the other in May 1994.

Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been held since 1992 in the format of the so-called OSCE Minsk Group, comprising along with its three co-chairs – Russia, France and the United States – Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland and Turkey.

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