The Deputy Assistant of the Secretary of State, American Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Matthew Bryza, informed Mediamax Agency that the window of opportunities for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has not been closed yet.
Commenting on the results of the negotiation process in 2006, Bryza said: Over 2006, the Presidents of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Armenia Robert Kocharyan met three times: in February in Rambue, in June in Bucharest and several weeks ago in Minsk. Many people hoped that after two series of the meetings, the Presidents will reach an agreement on the principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. Unfortunately, the Presidents did not appear ready to reach such an agreement.
You know well how the co-chairs reacted: on July 3, we made a joint statement in which the essence of the base principles was discovered. Publication of the essence of these base principles became an important step by the co-chairs as long as we wanted to call on the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to attract their communities in difficult, but necessary public dialogue regarding the settlement of the conflict. I hope that this public dialogue will productively continue in both countries.
After the pause in the negotiations process, over the past months, the foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and Armenia were actively involved in the negotiations. In Minsk, the President of Azerbaijan and Armenia turned on the green light before their Foreign Ministers to continue the negotiations in 2007. It is important as long as it means that the window of opportunities has not closed yet. The co-chairs are continuing to work with both sides, although preparations begin for the parliamentary elections in Armenia in 2007. We will calmly work together, but we hope to continue achieving progresses with regards to the base principles, around which the sides should reach an agreement.
The sides demonstrate activity and creative approach to reach an agreement on the base principles which will be mutually acceptable. I have no right speak more widely in what stage the negotiations are presently. We discovered the essence of the base principles in July, and they remain as bases for the discussions between the sides.