Baku, Azerbaijan, May 26
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
The U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group hopes to find a way to bring the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents together.
"The success or failure of this peace process depends on the political will of the sides. I look forward to working with my Russian and French colleagues to continue bringing new ideas to the table and helping the sides find their way into real negotiations on a peace agreement," Warlick told Trend commenting on the co-chairs recent visit to the region.
"I hope that we can find a way to bring the two presidents together in the near future to continue these efforts."
He went on to add that the primary goal of the co-chairs recent trip to the region was to visit Azerbaijan's Kelbajar, Lachin, and Nagorno-Karabakh regions occupied by Armenia.
The U.S. co-chair said he looks forward to meeting soon with Azerbaijan's president, in the region or another convenient location, to continue working on the substance of our negotiations.
OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, Igor Popov (Russia), Jacques Faure (France) and James Warlick (the U.S.), and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk visited the region from May 16 to May 19.
They were joined by Ambassador Pierre Andrieu, who will take over as French co-chair in June.
During the visit, they discussed the process of the peaceful settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The main objective of their visit was to review the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh, Kelbajar, and Lachin regions, in accordance with their mandate.
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 the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by C.N.