Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend E.Huseynov / Matthew Bryza, the US Assistant Secretary of State, an OSCE Minks Group co-chair, stated during an interview for the Russian Service of the Voice of America (VOA) that the sides in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh are close to an agreement and the peaceable talks can be restored in autumn. Bryza was commenting on the results, regarding the last round of talks between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in St. Petersburg on the 9th to the 10th of June.
Bryza noted that a deal of great work had been done lately by the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia and praised the Presidents of both countries who helped in promoting the dialogue. "I attended the meeting in St. Petersburg. The co-chairs were disappointed with the absence of a significant progress, but the process continues and we hope that the presidents will meet within several months," he stressed.
The diplomat does not consider the forthcoming elections in Armenia, Azerbaijan, United States and Russia to affect the activity of the Nagorno-Karabakh talks. "Prior to the recent parliamentary elections in Armenia we considered a pause in the negotiations for a while due to the election campaigns. However, it did not occur. Now we are awaiting the presidential elections in Armenia. Indeed, every pre-election campaign narrows the field of political maneuver, yet still there are no grounds to think the forthcoming presidential elections in Armenia will put an end to the process," he noted .
According to Bryza, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have been conducting talks on the principles of the conflict resolution. "These principles will help to finally determine the status of Nagorno-Karabakh through the national referendum, which will be accompanied by other significant events - re-dislocation of Armenian armed troops around Nagorno-Karabakh, establishment of a corridor between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, as well as placement of international peacekeeping forces within the region. We hope the process will be resumed by autumn." the US diplomat emphasized.
With respect to the proposals on the participation of the Karabakh side in the talks Bryza said that for the current time talks are being held between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In the past Nagorno-Karabakh participated as a side during the talks and perhaps will participate within the future. At present the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan should find a way to give a new breath to the process, which has yielded fruits.
Regarding the European Union's role in negotiations, Bryza noted the existence of informal coordination of actions. "All OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have firm positive relations with the EU Special Representative on South Caucasus, Peter Semneby . The Minsk Group holds talks and supports close relations between the EU and OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries - the Unites States, France and Russia. France represents
The unofficial position of EU countries and the current coordination between the EU and Minks Group is unofficial, yet genuine," Bryza concluded.