France, Russia, U.S. demand immediate end to Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities

PARIS (Reuters) - France, Russia and the United States on Thursday demanded an immediate ceasefire between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces around the Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh, calling for a return to negotiations without delay.

“We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities between the relevant military forces,” the French, Russia and U.S. presidents said in a joint statement in their capacity as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

“We also call on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to commit without delay to resuming substantive negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.”

The group was set up in 1992 to mediate a peaceful resolution over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave in the South Caucasus.

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; writing by John Irish; Editing by Alison Williams