Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 13
By Anakhanum Hidayatova – Trend:
There were a lot of positive and negative events in the process of settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2016, Matthew Bryza, former US assistant secretary for South Caucasus and former ambassador to Azerbaijan, told Trend Dec. 13.
He added that the year was eventful.
Bryza said the conflict settlement process was intensive until June 2016, but it slowed down after the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents' meeting in St. Petersburg.
Bryza expressed hope that the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents will agree on a new meeting in 2017 and the dialogue will continue.
He added that the US president-elect Donald Trump’s policy towards the South Caucasus is still unknown.
Trump reiterated his willingness to establish new, positive relations with Russia, Bryza said.
He added that the OSCE Minsk Group is the only format in which the US and Russia are working together in the South Caucasus, and did not rule out that the Trump administration will want to work more actively with Russia in the OSCE MG format.
Bryza reiterated that much depends on Azerbaijan and Armenia in the conflict settlement.
The OSCE Minsk Group can play the role of a mediator, but can not force Azerbaijan and Armenia to make any decisions, he added.
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.