OSCE Minsk hopes to bring together Azerbaijani, Armenian presidents

By: Sara Rajabova

The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair from the U.S. is hopeful to bring together the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents.

James Warlick told this to Trend Agency while commenting on the co-chairs’ recent visit to the region.

“The success or failure of the peace process depends on the political will of the sides. I look forward to working with my Russian and French colleagues to continue bringing new ideas to the table and helping the sides find their way into real negotiations on a peace agreement,” Warlick said.

He said he hopes to find a way to bring the two presidents together in the near future to step up these efforts.

Warlick went on to add that the primary goal of the co-chairs’ recent trip to the region was to visit Azerbaijan’s Kelbajar, Lachin, and Nagorno-Karabakh regions occupied by Armenia.

“We look forward to meeting soon with Azerbaijan’s president, in the region or another convenient location, to continue working on the substance of our negotiations,” he said.

The co-chairs Jacques Faure (France), James Warlick (U.S.) and Igor Popov (Russia) and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk, travelled to the region May 16-19.

They were joined by Ambassador Pierre Andrieu, who will take over as French co-chair in June.

During the visit, they discussed the process of the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The main objective of their visit was to review the situation in Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, Kelbajar, and Lachin regions, in accordance with their mandate.

Warlick recently wrote in his Twitter page that he will meet OSCE Chairman, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter before his visit to South Caucasus region.

Armenian media reported that Burkhalter will visit South Caucasus in early June.

The precarious cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia was reached after a lengthy war that displaced over a million Azerbaijanis and has been in place between the two South Caucasus countries since 1994.

Since the beginning of the hostilities, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenia’s withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but none of them have been enforced to this day.

Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the US through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs dubbed the Madrid Principles. The negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.


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