STEPANAKERT (Tert.am)—In an interview with Tert.am, Ani Sargsyan, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), commented on U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick’s recent remarks on the Sarsang Reservoir in Artsakh.
According to Sargsyan, Warlick pointed out the need for guarantees of the reservoir to continue supplying safe water to the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. According Warlick, it is important that the dam be safe and water be supplied to Azerbaijan if needed as well.
Warlick also questioned whether the issue of the reservoir was really in the interest of both sides.
As a goodwill gesture, Karabakh officials have repeatedly offered Azerbaijan mechanisms for the joint use of water resources of Artsakh, which could be a step toward building mutual confidence.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have supported Armenia’s proposals. On November 5, 2001, representatives visited hydraulic stations on the Tartar River on both sides of the line of contact. In 2013, Nagorno-Karabakh Prime Minister Artur Aghabekyan once again suggested the idea of joint use of water resources.
During their visit to Nagorno-Karabakh last May, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs visited the Sarsang Reservoir and issued a statement on the results of their visit, expressing hope that Armenia and Azerbaijan would reach an agreement on the joint use of water resources. However, Azerbaijan prefers using this purely humanitarian issue for political and propaganda purposes, says Sargsyan.
“I took this photo last year with the co-chairs. We need to ensure that the reservoir continues to provide safe reliable power to the population of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Warlick wrote online in regard to the reservoir.
“It’s also important that the dam is safe and that those downstream in Azerbaijan have water when it is needed. Why can’t the sides cooperate when it is in their mutual interest? This is a win-win and we are ready to help,” Warlick said.