On 11 November Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier held meetings at the Federal Foreign Office with representatives of the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe (OSCE) who are focusing on the conflicts in the Southern Caucasus. The talks took place in advance of Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship, which begins in 2016.
Focus on the Nagorno‑Karabakh conflict
Within the OSCE the Minsk Group has been working since 1992 to find a political solution to the conflict surrounding the Nagorno‑Karabakh region. To this end the co‑chairs of this group, Igor Popov (Russia), James Warlick (United States) and Pierre Andrieu (France), are conducting confidential talks with the parties to the conflict.
Together with Ambassador Kasprzyk (Poland) and Special Representative of the Serbian OSCE Chairperson‑in‑Office for the Southern Caucasus Angelo Gnädinger (Switzerland), the co‑chairs came to Berlin for political consultations with Antje Leendertse, Head of the Task Force for the OSCE Chairmanship in 2016. The meeting focused on the current situation in the conflict region as well as the status of talks on resolving the conflict within the framework of the Minsk Group and the prospects for cooperation with the German OSCE Chairmanship. As tensions in the Nagorno‑Karabakh conflict have recently been mounting, ways to build greater confidence between the parties to the conflict were discussed.
Georgia also under discussion
Antje Leendertse also spoke with Special Representative of the Serbian OSCE Chairperson‑in‑Office for the Southern Caucasus Angelo Gnädinger (Switzerland) on the current status of the Geneva International Discussions on the conflict in Georgia. These discussions, which began in 2008 following the war in Georgia as a platform for debating practical issues, are chaired by the OSCE in cooperation with the EU and the United Nations. Other participants in this constellation are Georgia, including representatives of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.