by Marianna Mkrtchyan
James Warlick, the US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group is fully committed to his duties. He was instructed by the Department of State to spare no effort in brining the stands of the conflicting parties closer, Ambassador John Heffern has said in an interview with the Voice of America's Armenian service.
Mr Heffern said that the US co-chair has a clear task to promote a more in-depth process between the sides. The ambassador agreed with the views that the peace talks over Nagorno-Karabakh have reached a phase of stalemate. Nevertheless, he said, there is certain progress in the negotiations.
As regards the Armenian-Turkish normalization and the U.S. efforts to that end, the diplomat said that ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols is one of the key tasks of the United States. The U.S. keeps on urging Turkey to open the border, he said.
Asked whether the United States, which is Turkey's ally, will encourage the country's future president to visit Armenia next year for the April 24 Genocide centennial event, the ambassador said he believes that PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's April 23 condolence address was just step ahead of that. He said the United States would try to be more useful, adding that a final decision is to be made by Turkey's top officials (president and prime minister).
Ambassador John Heffern is in United States these days.