US Ambassador Matthew Bryza, anOSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair, stated in a news conference in Yerevan that he does not expect a breakthrough in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the forthcoming meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents in St. Petersburg on 9 June, Armenian news agency Mediamax reports.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement held very honest and open talks with Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, Bryza stressed. "We discussed the manifestation of optimism and pessimism. I am optimistic, because I am a mediator and I work to regulate the conflict."
On 5 June Armenian President Robert Kocharian stated in an interview with Mediamax that he is well-aware of the source of the US diplomat's optimism. The current state of negotiations, as well as the stance the Azerbaijani side has taken over the past two months makes positive results least hopeful.
Bryza explained his optimism with the changes in the resolution observed this past year. He reminded those attending the press conference that when he joined the OSCE Minsk Group a year ago the mediators decided to cease their activities and make proposals on a resolution. Several rounds of talks were held afterwards between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Minsk.
"The April meeting of the Foreign Ministers in Belgrade revealed the necessity for a new meeting of the Presidents due on 9 June," Bryza added.
"Thus, over this period the process experienced quality changes and this is the major cause for my optimism," the mediator elaborated. The parties are solving their disagreements, while there are still some that are disputable.
In his turn, French Ambassador Bernard Fassier said it will be possible to speak about a breakthrough only when the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia will instruct their ministers to commence work over the text of a peace agreement.
Commenting on the Armenian President's statement, stressing the importance of defining Nagorno-Karabakh for his country, Bryza said that every side has its priorities and such an approach is not a surprise for him. "During the process we did not act with closed eyes, but took into consideration the importance of the status and security of the Armenian side.