Matthew Bryza: Sides of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict close to breakthrough
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 11 / Trend E.Kosolapova /
Azerbaijan and Armenia are close to a breakthrough in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, former U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza said in an interview with Turkish Hurriyet Daily newspaper.
"There is a huge progress (in negotiations), and the sides are extremely close to a breakthrough," Mr Bryza said.
He stressed there are a couple of core, key details that can only be agreed upon if the sides make a very difficult and risky political decision.
Mr Bryza also noted such decision won't be made until the sides feel they receive political support from the U.S. and France.
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.