UK Diplomat Stresses Need to End Karabakh Conflict

UK Minister of State for Europe David Lidington


BAKU—Speaking at the Baku ADA University, UK Minister of State for Europe David Lidington stressed the need to “end the terrible tragedy that is the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.”

“It is a matter of deep regret that on the twentieth anniversary of the 1994 ceasefire we still seem to be a long way from an agreed sustainable and agreed political settlement. In fact, there have been more deaths this year than in any other since 1994. This is a conflict that has caused 20 years of lost opportunity. 20 years of continued hostility, hatred and suffering,” Lidington said.

“Every year both Azerbaijanis and Armenians die on the line of contact as a result of this ongoing conflict,” he said.

“Every year the divisions and differences between the two countries and two peoples seem grow; and the opportunities for contact, for the exchange of views, for building of links across national lines seems to diminish further. Every year the possibilities to build a brighter future for the region seem to become more distant,” the Minister added.

According to him, a peaceful resolution would be transformative for the South Caucasus as a whole, enabling the region to develop its full economic potential as a bridge between Europe and Asia. “At a simple, practical level that fact that you cannot have direct flights between Baku and Yerevan is an obstacle to the normal business of international trade and commercial contact.”

“Only diplomacy can bring about peace; and diplomacy can only succeed if those who disagree meet to resolve their differences,” David Lidington said. He welcomed the recent meetings of President Aliyev and President Sarkisian: in Sochi, at the NATO Summit in Newport, and in Paris. “Regular high level meetings are one vital step towards building peace,” he said.

“I, personally, and the UK government, strongly support the work of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in trying to achieve a lasting peace. The “Madrid Principles” set out in 2007 provide the basis for a deal but they involve difficult decisions and compromises for both sides. So it is important that these principles are discussed more openly, both in Azerbaijan and Armenia,” he said.

“Peace will only be possible if both Armenia and Azerbaijan are prepared to show the political will needed to reach agreement,” he stressed and added: “I am concerned that neither the government of Azerbaijan nor the government of Armenia is at the moment creating a situation in which a peace agreement would be acceptable to their populations.”

“I know that compromise is not easy and I recognize that finding a solution to this conflict will require courage from all sides. But some of the keys to future stability and prosperity involve difficult decisions right now. I believe that now is the time to invest in peace,” Lidington concluded.

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8 Comments

  1. edward demian said:

    why would Alyev want peace? Peace would mean the end of his power. He knows that he will end up like Mussolini.

  2. Berge Jololian said:

    Notice the Turkish flag and some other Turkic flag on the lapel of his Majesty’s The Great Britain and the United Kingdom of British Petroleum.

    Beware of the British and US State Department activities at their respective embassies in Yerevan. They are worse than Azeri & Turkish threats on Armenia.

    • Vahe said:

      I agree.
      Why is this man wearing a Turkish flag? Is the UK part of Turkey – or vice versa?
      Is he part Turkish?
      Is he saying that he is happy that 1.5 million Armenians were murdered by Turks?
      Does he relish the rape of Armenian women by Turks?
      Does he himself desire to be raped by a Turk? If so, which gender?

  3. Areg said:

    UK first recognize the Armenian Genocide. Second there is no compromises on the Armenian side. The Armenian blood is still fresh and bleeding.
    Please for God’s sake stop this nonesense of missed opportunities you are talking about! What missed opportunities are you talking about?
    Armenians do not have oil! Please go and drill for oil somewher else. You may have better luck elsewhere.
    Keep out of our Holy lands!

  4. GeorgeMardig said:

    This problem will drag until there’s a Real Democratic governement in Azerbaijan, and corrupt Aliyev and his corrupt familty are gone.

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