US Issues Statement on Karabakh to OSCE

VIENNA–The United States has commended efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem undertaken by Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk–personal representative of the chairperson-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

In a statement to the OSCE Permanent Council September 14–US Charge d’Affaires Josiah Rosenblatt praised Kasprzyk and his team for their work on monitoring the cease-fire–promoting demining and border crossing cooperation–and securing the return of prisoners of war.

He also said the United States is encouraged by the continuation of direct dialogue on the issue between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan–which he said indicates they "are serious about achieving a settlement."

Following is the text of Rosenblatt’s statement:

Statement On Nagorno-Karabakh

Delivered By Charge D’affaires Josiah Rosenblatt To The Permanent Council–Vienna

Thank you–Madame Chairperson. We have listened with interest to the report by the Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office–Ambassador Kasprzyk.

The July visit of the Chairperson-in-Office that he described–as well as the ongoing efforts by my Government and the other Minsk Group Co-Chairs — to include the visit of the three Minsk Group Co-Chairs to Baku–Stepanakhert and Yerevan in early July — should serve as visible indications of the significance the OSCE attaches to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and our desire for a rapid and equitable settlement.

The work Ambassador Kasprzyk and his team have undertaken–particularly including monitoring the cease-fire and promoting other CBM’s [confidence-building measures] such as demining and border crossing co-operation–has helped to create the essential preconditions necessary for a lasting settlement.

We wish to commend–in particular–Ambassador Kasprzyk’s work to accomplish the return of POWs. We welcome the positive responses to this effort on the part of the leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh–and the Governmen’s of Armenia and Azerbaijan–which has resulted in the recent release of 13 POWs. We also welcome and encourage Ambassador Kasprzyk’s decision to give a new impetus to work on Missing Persons.

Unless the parties to the dialogue have a basic level of mutual trust and understanding–it will be all but impossible to reach a peaceful settlement to this conflict.

We are encouraged by the continuation of direct talks between Presidents Kocharian and Aliyev aimed at achieving a stable and lasting settlement–which is critical for development and prosperity of the region.

The start of this direct presidential dialogue last year was a very positive development–and indicates that the two sides are serious about achieving a settlement. In this regard–we note that the two presidents met in Yalta in August and again in New York in September.

We welcome their public statemen’s to the press following the New York meeting–where they said that they will continue their dialogue–and that they remain committed to a peaceful solution to the conflict based on mutual compromise.

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