Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.26
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will continue consultations with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and the Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the near future, the U.S co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick said in an interview to Armenpress.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will continue the consultation with the two countries foreign ministers during the next two years and will visit the region in the near future, according to Warlick.
Talking about his recent visit to Turkey and the meetings held there, Warlick said Turkey is a U.S. strategic partner with whom many issues are discussed.
"It is interesting to hear the opinion of Turkish officials which is a neighbour in the region and a member of the OSCE Minsk Group on regional issues, including on Nagorno-Karabakh," the co-chair said.
Touching upon the measures, implementation of which is necessary for settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the U.S co-chair reiterated the call of presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group member states (U.S., France and Russia) to the conflicting sides in 2013 to affirm their commitment to the Helsinki principles.
"In recent months we have witnessed a number of positive steps and the most significant of them was the meeting of the presidents. However, a question arises. Do the parties really have the political will to achieve a long term solution of this conflict? The way forward should be determined by the parties themselves and the U.S. is ready to assist them in this as far as possible," Warlick said.
The U.S. co-chair also expressed hope for a meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in the near future. However, he didn't specify any possible date.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by S.M.