STEPANAKERT—The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic has described Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov’s appeal to recall the US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick as “another manifestation of the destructive position of Azerbaijan.”
On the day of a visit by OSCE Minsk Group US Co-chairman James Warlick to Los Angeles and Houston to meet with Armenian and Azeri communities respectively, Baku was amplifying its rhetoric against the US diplomat and urging OSCE officials to recall him.
Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov, in remarks reported by the Azeri press has accused Warlick of one-sidedness, citing unnamed sources in Washington allegedly claiming that US diplomat “has close ties with the Armenian Diaspora in the US, which holds a strong position on the resolution of the [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict.”
Azimov attempted to assert his baseless allegation by saying that “even a cursory glance at comments on social networks shows that the U.S. Co-Chair prefers to communicate more with Armenian Diaspora in the US,” according to the Azeri APA news agency.
“In general, some of his statements are provocative, with the co-chair spreading rumors about a possible escalation of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” claimed Azimov.
“We have repeatedly expressed our concern over the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group and statements of the US Co-Chair. We cannot turn a blind eye to Warlick’s actions, which reduce confidence in the Minsk Group, run contrary to the mandate of the Co-Chairs and undermine the negotiation process. All of these statements show that Warlick is consciously and deliberately taking these steps to ensure the interests of the Armenian side,” asserted Azimov.
“All of the aforementioned facts give the Azerbaijani side every reason to distrust the US Co-Chair, refuse working with him and appeal to the OSCE Chairman-in-Office to recall Warlick from the post of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair,” Azimov concluded.
“This statement is yet another manifestation of the destructive position of Azerbaijan aimed at undermining the format of the triple co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group and artificial protraction of the settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. Such a stance of Azerbaijan testifies to the absence of its interest in the final settlement of the conflict,” the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In his statement, Araz Azimov had harshly criticized James Warlick, and noted that the Azerbaijani party may demand that Warlick be dismissed from his capacity as OSCE Minsk Group co-chair.
Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian told News.am that Baku has continuously criticized the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in an attempt to sway their decisions in Azerbaijan’s destructive favor.
“This most recent criticism of the American co-chair by Baku is another attempt to blackmail the co-chairs and shift the blame on them for Azerbaijan’s hindering of the resolution of the Karabakh conflict,” Kocharian added.