U.S. Karabakh Envoy Again Visits Armenia

Emil Danielyan, Ruben Meloyan

http://www.azatutyun.a m/content/article/1794987.html
Aug 7 2009

Washington’s top Nagorno-Karabakh negotiator insisted Friday that
Armenia and Azerbaijan remain "very close" to ending their long-running
territorial dispute as he began a fresh tour of the region aimed at
keeping up the momentum in the peace process.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza met President Serzh
Sarkisian to discuss ways of overcoming the conflicting parties’
remaining disagreements over a framework peace accord drafted by the
U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the Minsk Group. Sarkisian’s
office released no details of the meeting.

Sarkisian and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, apparently
failed to bridge their differences during their most recent talks held
in Moscow on July 17-18. The mediators hope that the two leaders will
achieve a breakthrough at their next meeting due in October.

"There was no formal agreement [at Moscow,] but they are very close,"
Bryza said, speaking at a youth forum held in the Armenian resort town
of Tsaghkadzor later in the day. He expressed hope that "we will be
at the point of this agreement on the last few elements of the basic
principles that remain not yet agreed" after the co-chairs visit the
conflict zone in late September.

Bryza and the two other Minsk Group co-chairs met in Krakow, Poland
late last month to prepare what they call an "updated version" of their
proposed basic principles of a Karabakh settlement. The U.S. official
said their consultations were based "what the presidents discussed
in Moscow and what they told us co-chairs after their meeting."

Bryza did not elaborate on the changes made in the mediators’
peace plan. But he did hint that it continues to uphold the Karabakh
Armenians’ right to legitimize their secession from Azerbaijan in a
future referendum.

"What I can not tell you today is when the final legal status of
Nagorno-Karabakh will be determined through a vote," Bryza said. "But
you did not hear me say that Nagorno-Karabakh will be returned to

"I never said that. I just said that the interim status will be
determined now and the final legal status will be determined by the
people of Karabakh."