Baku, Azerbaijan, May 16
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
Richard Morningstar, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, has commented on the speech made by the OSCE Minsk Group's U.S. Co-chair, James Warlick at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Speaking to journalists on Friday, May 16 the ambassador said he believes that Warlick's speech is very important.
"I think that the speech James Warlick made is a very important speech," Ambassador Morningstar said. "I think the speech sets out very well American policy with respect to Nagorno-Karabakh. It certainly encourages both Armenia and Azerbaijan to take the steps necessary the reach the resolution."
The ambassador went on to add that Warlick's speech outlines six points that are necessary to reach a settlement to the conflict.
"Ambassador Warlick stated very clearly that the seven occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh should be returned to Azerbaijan. And also the need to determine the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh based on self-determination, territorial integrity and non-use of force," he stressed.
Morningstar also said the negotiations have been going on for twenty years, adding that this is very frustrating.
"And hopefully we will see actions from both sides," the ambassador stressed.
Earlier, on May 7, OSCE Minsk Group's U.S. Co-chair James Warlick presented a speech on the keys to settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
During his speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, James Warlick presented a report titled 'Nagorno-Karabakh: The Keys to a Settlement' in which he outlined six main elements that he believes any peace agreement must be based on.
James Warlick's report outlined the following elements:
- First, in light of Nagorno-Karabakh's complex history, the sides should commit to determining its final legal status through a mutually agreed and legally binding expression of will in the future. This is not optional. Interim status will be temporary.
- Second, the area within the boundaries of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region that is not controlled by Baku should be granted an interim status that, at a minimum, provides guarantees for security and self-governance.
- Third, the occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh should be returned to Azerbaijani control. There can be no settlement without respect for Azerbaijan's sovereignty, and the recognition that its sovereignty over these territories must be restored.
- Fourth, there should be a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh. It must be wide enough to provide secure passage, but it cannot encompass the whole of Lachin district.
- Fifth, an enduring settlement will have to recognize the right of all IDPs and refugees to return to their former places of residence.
- Sixth and finally, a settlement must include international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation. There is no scenario in which peace can be assured without a well-designed peacekeeping operation that enjoys the confidence of all sides.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict broke out 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.
The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions on liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions; however Armenia is still not complying with any of these resolutions.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by S.I.