BAKU: US envoy says Azerbaijan, Armenia must resolve NK themselves

US envoy says Azerbaijan, Armenia must resolve Karabakh themselves

MPA news agency
26 Jan 05


“The OSCE Minsk Group did a lot last year,” US Ambassador to
Azerbaijan Reno Harnish has said.

The ambassador has told MPA that last year saw meetings of the
Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers. He also pointed to
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s statement at a Security Council
meeting in early January that certain changes for the better had been
observed in the process of negotiations. An OSCE factfinding mission
is expected to arrive in Baku soon to investigate claims that Armenia
is settling the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

All this, Harnish said, attests to the OSCE’s and the Minsk Group’s
interest in securing a fair and lasting peace. As far as the USA is
concerned, the diplomat said, its position remains unchanged. The USA
does not recognize the so-called Nagornyy Karabakh republic and
respects Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. The diplomat said the US
policy serves peace and stability in the entire region.

The Karabakh conflict will be on the agenda of the February meeting
between US President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir
Putin. Harnish said Russia is playing an important role in regional
conflicts. In some cases this role is positive, while in others
negative. However, Harnish added that the solution to the problem
depends not only on Moscow and Washington. It is the leaders of
Azerbaijan and Armenia who must come to agreement first.

“Therefore, we are urging Russia to step up its positive role, and
Baku and Yerevan to display more constructive positions,” Harnish

Asked by journalists about US-Iranian relations, the US diplomat said
Tehran had to meet three demands. First, the international community
is interested in Tehran giving up the development of weapons of mass
destruction. Second, Iran has to stop supporting international
terrorism; and third, Iran has to stop impeding the Middle East peace