NKR Foreign Ministry on James Warlick’s statement: “Any return to the
past is out of question”
by Ashot Safaryan
Thursday, May 8, 13:31
“We consider it necessary to note that the position of the Nagorno
Karabakh Republic on the prospects of settlement of the
Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict remains unchanged,” the NKR Foreign
Ministry said in response to the latest statement by of the US
Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick.
“Any return to the past is out of question. The fate of Nagorno
Karabakh has been determined by its people through a free and
legitimate expression of will in the 1991 referendum on independence.
NKR independence and security are absolute values that are not subject
to any bargaining. We believe that the joint efforts of the OSCE
Minsk Group should focus on the development of such settlement
mechanisms that stem from current realities and provide conditions for
the peaceful coexistence of two independent states – the Nagorno
Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan – emerged as a result of the collapse
of the USSR and the war unleashed by Azerbaijan,” the Ministry said.
To recall, in his speech at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
in Washington, James Warlick particularly, said: “In light of
Nagorno-Karabakh’s complex history, the sides should commit to
determining its final legal status through a mutually agreed and
legally binding expression of will in the future. This is not
optional. Interim status will be temporary. Second, the area within
the boundaries of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region that
is not controlled by Baku should be granted an interim status that, at
a minimum, provides guarantees for security and self- governance.
Third, the occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh should be
returned to Azerbaijani control. There can be no settlement without
respect for Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, and the recognition that its
sovereignty over these territories must be restored. Fourth, there
should be a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh.
It must be wide enough to provide secure passage, but it cannot
encompass the whole of Lachin district. Fifth, an enduring settlement
will have to recognize the right of all IDPs and refugees to return to
their former places of residence. Sixth and finally, a settlement must
include international security guarantees that would include a
peacekeeping operation. There is no scenario in which peace can be
assured without a well-designed peacekeeping operation that enjoys the
confidence of all sides.”