Karabakh conflict settlement proposals - on negotiating table (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 14
By Anakhanum Hidayatova – Trend:
The hostilities on the line of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops in April 2016 resulted in many casualties and demonstrated that there can be no military solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, James Warlick, US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, told Trend Dec. 14.
Warlick said that since then, the ceasefire has generally been respected by the sides and there are proposals on the table that can lead to a settlement.
“In 2016, we have seen a renewed effort to make progress in negotiations, particularly at the summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg, and we hope the sides will engage constructively to find a way forward,” Warlick said.
“I wish I could see into the crystal ball,” the diplomat said regarding further developments on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement during the presidency of Donald Trump.
“I have no doubt, however, that the U.S. government will remain committed to a peaceful settlement through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries,” he said.
“In view of my decision to step down on December 31, an interim Co-Chair will be announced in the near future,” he said.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.