Azerbaijan, Baku, July 1 / Trend A.Gasimova /
The presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries (U.S., Russia and France) noted the progress that has been made up till now and the principles that should guide the discussions among the parties, U.S Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon told journalists in Washington.
"The United States is firmly committed to those principles and determined to work with the parties to encourage them down the same path. I think the G-8 leaders made the statement, as they had in L'Aquila the previous year, demonstrating their commitment at the highest levels to the Minsk Group process," Gordon said.
The presidents of Russia, the United States and France during G 8 summit in Canada issued a joint statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which called on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to accelerate work on the Main principles of settlement of the conflict in order to begin drafting a Peace agreement.
"Currently, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan should make one more step and finalize the Main principles in order to be able to begin peace agreement draft", - said in the statement of Dmitry Medvedev, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, which they took as heads of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states.
The statement noted that the heads of states - co-chairs of the Minsk Group have been considered as an important step towards the recognition by both parties of the fact that the settlement must be based on several principles, among which, returning of the occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees of security and self-government; corridor linking Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh.
The final legal determination of future status of Nagorno-Karabakh "by a legally binding will of people, the right of all refugees and internal displaced persons to return to their former homes, international guarantees of security, including peacekeeping operations" is among these principles.
"Armenia and Azerbaijan would both benefit from moving forward in the Minsk Group process. Secretary Hillary Clinton will have a chance in both countries to underscore what the presidents said in Toronto the other day," Gordon noted.
"We are concerned that any time violence takes place anywhere. Nobody can take stability for granted when you have an armed standoff and disagreements like we have here, which underscores again why we are so committed to the Minsk Group process and the need for diplomacy," he said.
Gordon said one of the purposes of the Secretary's trip to talk to both parties about how to move that process forward.
"The situation has been stuck for a lot longer than we would want it to be, and any time there's an up tick in violence to any degree, it's something that we're very concerned about," Gordon added.
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