OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairs advanced negotiations with Azerbaijan and Armenia on elements of a comprehensive agreement on the Karabakh conflict, helped to reduce tensions along the contact line, following heightened violence late last year, James Warlick, the Minsk Group’s US co-chair, exclusively told Trend Sept. 22.
He was commenting on the work done by the OSCE Minsk Group since early 2015 regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.
Warlick said the co-chairs look forward to bringing the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia together at the UN General Assembly to continue preparations for the next presidential summit.
“We hope the presidents will agree to meet before the end of the year,” he added. “The co-chairs will discuss these plans with the foreign ministers at the UN General Assembly, and we stand ready to bring the presidents together anytime.”
Commenting on the influence of a tension in relations between the US and Russia on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process, the co-chair said the two countries share the same objective on Nagorno-Karabakh, that is, there must be a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the conflict.
“Despite disagreements in other areas of the US-Russian relationship, we work closely in the co-chair format to make progress towards our common goal of reaching a lasting settlement that would transform the South Caucasus,” said Warlick.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council’s four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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