A new U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, established for peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, has been appointed.
Richard Hoagland will be the interim co-chair starting from January 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan reported on December 30.
Hoagland, a diplomat with over 30 years of experience, will replace James Warlick, who will step down on December 31. Hoagland is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
Warlick was appointed as U.S. Minsk Group co-chair on August 2013 and assumed the office in September 2013 of that year.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acts as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, it failed to make any move to achieve a breakthrough in the peace process so far.
Azerbaijan and Armenia for over two decades have been locked in conflict, which emerged over Armenian territorial claims. Since the 1990s war, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal, but they have not been enforced to this day.
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