YEREVAN (ARKA)—The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs believe that a successful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict depends greatly on the easing of tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, U.S. co-chair James Warlick said at a news conference yesterday in Yerevan. He said the co-chairs’ message to Armenia and Azerbaijan is to respect the ceasefire and ease the tension.
The co-chairs, who have arrived in Armenia today, are expected to meet with President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process. The co-chairs will also visit Nagorno-Karabakh to discuss the problem with its president and foreign minister, and then travel to Azerbaijan today.
According to Warlick, the most important question that the OSCE Minsk Group will raise in Yerevan and Baku is about alleviating the tension and violence on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh. The co-chairs are very concerned about the tension, particularly the use of heavy weapons and mortars by both sides, which has claimed the lives of civilians.
He said the co-chairs will discuss with the presidents the elements and principles of a settlement. Warlick noted that the co-chairs will also seek to create an atmosphere of trust at the level of ordinary citizens. All of this, in Warlick’s opinion, could serve as a basis for the sides to forge a lasting peace agreement.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are working to organize a meeting between Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev before the end of the year, Warlick said in Yerevan on Monday. He said both presidents expressed readiness for more dialogue, but the timing of the meeting has yet to be determined.
According to him, the meeting will most likely happen after the Armenian referendum on constitutional reforms, scheduled for December 6, but before the end of 2015.