It Was Painful for USA to Vote against UN Resolution on Occupied Territory of Azerbaijan – American Diplomat

Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 June / Trend corr M. Aliyev/ Trend ' interview with Matthew Bryza, American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Question: In their every speech, OSCE Minsk Group's co-chairmen say Azerbaijan and Armenia should make a compromise. Armenia speaks about self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan sticks to its own position in which country's territorial integrity is a principal issue. What do you mean by compromise? What can push these sides to a compromise?

Answer: From you question it seems like the countries have not advanced to a compromise at all. This is not like that at all. Draft framework agreement coordinating almost all the principles is on the table of negotiations. But there are still a couple of serious principles to be clarified. One, two or three years ago we could not say that. But a good progress has been marked since that time. So, the final compromise will require courage, political will and trust between the leaders of the two countries. I cannot foretell whether that will happen. I do not know.

Question: There are reports that involvement of other international organizations in peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh may change the situation, which OSCE Minsk Group's co-chairs have failed to achieve so far. The European Union is mentioned as a new intermediary. Can that be a way out of the situation?

Answer: The joint work of the European Union and the United States always leads to positive results. I am not against the participation of European Union. EU must define by itself how important that is. The decision will be made by the European Union and French co-chairman. If they propose some definite conception to OSCE, that will please anyway.

I do not think another format or more participants are needed. You do raise the issue which proves that there is a will to achieve compromise. If you take a look at present structure of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, you will see three possible variants. The first is restoration of war which no one wants. The second is one of the sides will reject its current position, but that will not happen. And the last one is compromise. Thus, do the sides need to reject their current positions? War is awful! So the logic states that you must come to a compromise. I think the sides understand the only acceptable option is a compromise.

Question: During voting at the UN on the Resolution envisaging immediate liberation of Azerbaijani territory occupied by Armenia, the USA, France and Russia as the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group voted against it, though they could have just abstained. If you do support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, so why you did not back the demand to Armenia to liberate Azerbaijani territory? That caused discontent at the Azerbaijani Government.

Answer: I completely understand the discontent of the Azerbaijani Government. That was a very painful decision for my Government. Azerbaijan is our friend and strategic partner. One cannot support those who are against your partner. But in our opinion, a possible position is a real one. For us, a Resolution leading to compromise over which we are working would be possible. While that Resolution reflects the position of only one side. To be a frank intermediary to help a joint compromise we said no. But that is not the direction we wanted to follow. We want to advance to a compromise. We worked over the Resolution jointly with our friends at the Azerbaijani Government in order to make it acceptable, but failed. So, I can say I am very sorry and I am very upset about the situation. But now we have to move forward, to find a compromise and to establish friendly relations.   

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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