U.S. Co-Chair’s certain Karabakh remarks go "unnoticed" at the MFA

U.S. Co-Chair’s certain Karabakh remarks go “unnoticed” at Foreign Ministry

May 10, 2014 – 12:54 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian commented on the
statement of the OSCE Minsk Group U.S. Co-Chair James Warlick on `six
elements’ for the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

`Unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia on numerous occasions has commended and
stressed the importance of the consistent efforts of the heads of the
OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries ` USA, Russia and France, in
supporting the sides to the conflict to reach exclusively peaceful
settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

The American diplomat is correct, that the parties have almost reached
agreements on a number of occasions, and brings 2011 Kazan Summit as
the latest example.

It is well-known that because of Baku’s backtrackings, its attempts to
snatch one-sided advantages made it impossible to achieve progress in
Kazan in June 2011, at the summits in Sochi in March 2011, in
Astrakhan in October 2010, in Saint-Petersburg in June 2010, even
though the sides were close to reaching agreements. I would like to
recall that Baku backtracked several times in the past as well, for
instance ` 10 years before Kazan, in 2001.

The American Ambassador rightly finds sniper shootings along the Line
of Contact, the human losses as unacceptable, highlighting that the
OSCE monitors were not able to have neither the mandate nor the
resources to identify those responsible, to reduce the reported
thousands of ceasefire violations every year.

As the Co-Chair states, we have many times urged to respect ceasefire
agreement reached in May 1994. Unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan has rejected
and continues rejecting numerous proposals made by Co-Chair countries
to consolidate ceasefire, withdraw snipers from the Line of Contact,
and create a mechanism of investigation of incidents and ceasefire
violations.

Azerbaijan not only rejects those proposals, it continuously commits
gross violations of ceasefire, masterminds provocations, does not
respect even its own commitments on maintaining and strengthening the
ceasefire – not only according to the provisions of the cease-fire
agreement, reached between Azerbaijan, Karabakh and Armenia on May 12,
1994, but also the ceasefire consolidation agreement, reached in the
same three-party format on February 4, 1995, according to which
Azerbaijan was obliged to refrain from statements that could escalate
the situation and to immediately notify to the Armenian sides and
Co-Chairs about violations, instead of increasing anti-Armenian
propaganda by false accusations. For decades Baku has been violating
those commitments.

In two days the 20th anniversary of the establishment of cease-fire is
marked, and I hope that the Co-Chairs would use this important
occasion to deliver a special statement containing a strong message.
It is vital to exclude the use of force, thereby creating utmost
favorable conditions for the success of the negotiation process.

We resolutely agree that peoples should be prepared for peace, not
war. Unfortunately until now the Azerbaijani leadership has been doing
just the reverse. In spite of the several appeals of the international
community to refrain from provocative rhetoric and actions, Azerbaijan
continues its bellicose statements, the glorification of murderers and
persecution of peace advocates, the propaganda of xenophobia,
intolerance and hatred, which leads to raising tension and escalation
of the situation in the region.

The elements of the conflict settlement presented by James Warlick in
general reflect the proposals of Co-Chair states.

As the Co-Chairs, we continue to believe that the elements outlined in
the statements of the heads of the Co-Chair countries in L’Aquila,
Muskoka, Deauville, Los Cabos and Enniskillen over the last years can
be the foundation of reaching a lasting peaceful settlement of the
conflict.

The American diplomat stresses that any enduring peace must reflect
the views of all affected parties if it is to succeed. We have several
times emphasized that without the full fledged involvement of
Nagorno-Karabakh in the negotiation process, it will be impossible to
achieve the resolution of the conflict.

The OSCE Minsk Group American Co-Chairman justly observed that any
attempt to select some elements over others will make it impossible to
achieve a balanced solution.

We share the Co-Chairs’ opinion, expressed many times, that those
elements must be seen as an integrated whole and the attempts to give
priority to some elements will make it impossible to reach the
settlement.

Unlike Azerbaijan, which on the occasion and without makes references
to only one principle of international law, in response to the appeals
by the heads of Co-chair countries, Armenia has on several occasions
reiterated and once again re-affirms its commitment to the principles
of international law, particularly the non-use of force or the threat
of force, equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and
territorial integrity.

Together with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Armenia will consistently
continue to exert joint efforts towards exclusively peaceful
settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Karabakh,’ the
Foreign Minister’s statement said.

U.S. Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group has named `six elements’ for the
resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

In his statement, delivered at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, amb. James Warlick said that `there are six
elements that will have to be part of any peace agreement if it is to
endure. While the sequencing and details of these elements remains the
subject of negotiations, they must be seen as an integrated whole. Any
attempt to select some elements over others will make it impossible to
achieve a balanced solution.’

`First, 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,’ the U.S. diplomat
said.

`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.’

The third element, according to the U.S. Co-chair is that `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,’ Warlick said.

`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,’ he
said.

According to him, the co-chairs of the Minsk Group share a common
interest in helping the sides reach a peaceful resolution.

`We intend to continue working through the Minsk Group as the primary
channel for resolving this conflict. Together with France, the United
States and Russia share a common commitment to peace and security in
Nagorno Karabakh. The United States stands ready to help in any way we
can. I would also call on the diaspora communities in the United
States and around the world to speak out for peace and to help bring
an end to this conflict,’ the diplomat said.

Meanwhile, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) slammed
the statement as `morally acceptable nor practically sustainable.’

`While we do welcome the renewed focus on the centrality of status, at
a fundamental level, this plan falls far short of our American ideal
of democratic self-determination, the enduring principle upon which
our nation was founded and through which more than one hundred new
countries have emerged over the past half century,’ ANCA Executive
Director Aram Hamparian said.

`Using the profoundly incendiary and patently inaccurate language of
“occupation,” this proposed framework again effectively calls upon
Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia – the victims of Baku’s war of aggression
– to make up-front, strategic security concessions in return for
entirely undefined and easily reversible promises by an increasingly
belligerent Azerbaijani government,’ he emphasized.

`We remain hopeful in the overall prospects for an OSCE-brokered
peace, are disappointed by the status and security asymmetry in this
particular proposal, and look forward to engaging, as meaningful
stakeholders, in a more balanced, inclusive and democratic framework
for the future of the independent Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.
Over-riding Baku’s veto on Nagorno Karabakh’s full and direct
participation in all peace talks should, of course, be the first item
on the OSCE’s agenda,’ Hamparian concluded.

From: A. Papazian

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