U.S. hopes for early meeting between Azerbaijani, Armenian presidents

By: Jamila Babayeva

The U.S. hopes that the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia sit for talks in near future to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern told the Armenian reporters on July 29.

He said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has assigned U.S. diplomats to find a peaceful solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Heffern reminded that the U.S. is one of the countries which are mediating between two sides of the conflict to find a peaceful solution in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group.

“The message of the co-chairs themselves is very clear and consistent: there’s only one single way to resolve this conflict, and this is peace negotiations,” he stressed. “The OSCE co-chairs have strongly condemned violations of the ceasefire and offered condolences for the lives lost at the line of contact.”

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since a lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.

The UN Security Council’s four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal have not been enforced to this day.

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