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James Warlick: next presidential meeting on Karabakh important for comprehensive settlement

The next meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be an important step towards the conflict’s comprehensive settlement, the US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group (MG) James Warlick told Trend June 1.

He said that the OSCE MG co-chairs met with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Brussels May 31 to follow up on the outcomes of the Vienna meeting of the presidents that was held on May 16 and prepare for the presidents’ next meeting.

“We will see Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan in Paris June 2 to discuss the same issues,” noted Warlick. “With FM Mammadyarov we exchanged views on a proposal to establish an OSCE investigative mechanism and discussed elements of a comprehensive settlement.”

Although there is no date set for the next presidential meeting, the OSCE MG expects it to take place in June, added Warlick.

Warlick said also that the meeting will be important for the sides to reinforce respect for the ceasefire, reach agreement on the implementation of the investigative mechanism, and agree to a negotiation that can lead to a comprehensive settlement.

The OSCE MG co-chairs will continue their efforts with the sides to advance a peaceful and lasting settlement, he added.

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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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