US former ambassador to Azerbaijan hopes for breakthrough in Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations
Azerbaijan, Baku, Apr. 5 /Trend, V.Zhavoronkova/
The US former ambassador to Azerbaijan, Matthew Bryza hopes for speedy breakthrough in Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations.
"During the time I haven't been here there was no dramatic shift in the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations. I continue to be convinced that there is a workable and fair proposal on the table that co-chairs have worked on for many years and I think there will be breakthrough when the two presidents (of Azerbaijan and Armenia) feel they can trust each one sufficiently. I hope this will be soon but that's up to the presidents of course and it's up to the society. The societies as well need to understand they have to live together", Bryza, who had also served as a co-chair for OSCE Minsk Group told reporters Thursday at an event marking the 20th anniversary of establishment of Azerbaijani-US diplomatic relations.
"I miss Azerbaijan terribly as I'm happy to come here to spend Easter holidays here. This nice reception celebrating 20 years of U.S.-Azerbaijani diplomatic relations is a chance and I am very lucky here tonight", he said.
Bryza said that it's up to president Obama to make determination on the new US ambassador to Azerbaijan.
"I have my own ideas but it's up to him. I know that there will be an extremely capable candidate or a number of candidates that will definitely strengthen U.S.-Azerbaijani relations and advantage", Bryza said.
President Barack Obama in late 2010 appointed a career diplomat, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Bryza as ambassador to Azerbaijan bypassing the Senate, which for several months was blocking his nomination under pressure of pro-Armenian senators Barbara Boxer and Robert Menendez. In late December, 2011 Bryza ended his mission in Azerbaijan and left for the U.S, after the Senate failed to confirm his nomination.
Bryza now serves as a Director of the Estonia-based International Centre for Defence Studies.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia 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.