Nagorno-Karabakh conflict not a frozen one, says US co-chair

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict not a frozen one, says US co-chair
# 23 September 2015 08:34 (UTC +04:00)

Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not a frozen one, US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick told BBC Azerbaijan.

He said the tension on the contact line of troops and along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border has recently increased. “We are concerned about the reports of ceasefire violations and use of artillery, including heavy weapons by both parties. Use of shells and heavy weapons is unacceptable. We are particularly concerned about the losses among the civilian population and have repeatedly urged the parties to take all possible steps to prevent such violence. With a view of stabilizing the situation we are continuing discussions to build confidence between the parties and create a constructive atmosphere for the negotiations. I believe that the parties are committed to the co-chairs’ intention to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. We continue our meetings with the leaders of the regional countries to discuss the details of a comprehensive agreement. During a meeting to be held with the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers as part of the UN General Assembly session next week, we will first discuss the issues of de-escalating the tension and honoring the ceasefire strictly,” the co-chair noted.

Recalling his last year’s speech at the Carnegie Endowment on the 20th anniversary of the declaration of the ceasefire, the co-chair noted that the element and principles he voiced in connection with the conflict settlement are backed by the parties.

“What’s missing is a political will in Armenia and Azerbaijan to reach an agreement. I have repeatedly stated in many places that the presidents should give up the rhetoric of war and prepare the public for peace. The co-chairs, together with parties continue to work on the details of a comprehensive agreement. Nevertheless, the completion of the agreement depends primarily on the presidents’ political will,” Warlick added.

According to him, people’s diplomacy is vital in terms of building trust between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia. He added that political negotiations in any peace process get completed with efforts from bottom.

“Such efforts open up opportunities for relations between those affected by war to get better and for them to benefit from peace. Despite the tension between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia is pretty high, the co-chairs are trying to bring the two nations together. In these terms, the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh cannot be ruled out. I have repeatedly said that all the sides should come together with the co-chairs and hold discussions for the interests of those affected by the war. The problem of water is the most visible among these initiatives. I hope the sides can sit at the table to discuss cooperation in the division of water resources. The co-chairs are ready to help them with it,” he completed.

Note that, ambassador James Warlick have shared a photo on social media of the Sarsang reservoir in Nagorno-Karabakh, noting that all the sides can cooperate over this issue.

Nagorno Garabagh