Immediate steps needed to mitigate situation on Azerbaijani-Armenian contact line

Photo: Immediate steps needed to mitigate situation on Azerbaijani-Armenian contact line / Nagorno-karabakh conflict

Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 9

The escalation of tension on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops shows that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is no more a frozen conflict, and we are very concerned over the situation.

U.S. co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick made the remarks in an interview with the "Voice of America".

Of course, immediate steps should be taken to mitigate the situation, he said.

A possible meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Sochi will the first step in this regard, according to the OSCE MG co-chair.

"And I hope that this meeting will allow to prevent collisions on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, " Warlick said.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Sochi, Russia Aug.9, according to a message posted on the official website of Russian president.

During the meeting, the presidents will discuss the cooperation issues between Russia and Azerbaijan, joint steps to promote the promising and mutually beneficial projects, first of all, in the spheres of energy, investment and interregional cooperation.

Putin will also meet with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan on the same day, according to the message.

The two sides will exchange views on the further development of bilateral cooperation in political, trade, economic and humanitarian spheres.

Warlick assured that during the meetings with him both presidents said they are committed to find peace and we should contribute to successful progress of the peace negotiations, but also willingness of presidents is also required.

"Thus, we have high expectations for the forthcoming development of the process. Simultaneously, we are concerned the current situation. Naturally, none of the parties does not want to look weak in the eyes of the other, but we do believe in one thing -peaceful negotiations is needed but not a war " Warlick said answering to a question about the willingness of the parties to the peace talks.

Responding to a question, whether Russia pursue any hidden aim in this conflict, the diplomat said that at the present moment, Russia itself has a big problem at the borders and is not interested in new clashes.

"We work efficiently with the Russian side, and I am sure that Russia is not interested in new challenges. We are also interested in peaceful resolution of the conflict as the South Caucasus countries are our partners, and we are interested in peace and stability in the region," he said.

"Decision of the peace depends on Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the solution of the problem requires a lot of effort," Warlick noted.

The U.S. is also concerned over the situation in the world, but it is not a cause of the weakening of priority on resolving the Karabakh problem, according to Warlick.

"Our goal is to see Europe integrated, peaceful and free. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a problem for Europe and the U.S. is interested in a solution that satisfy all parties," he said.

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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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