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U.S. Department: James Warlick's speech announced nothing new on Karabakh peace process

  • Thursday, May 8, 16:58

"Ambassador Warlick gave a speech at the Carnegie Endowment. In his speech, he outlined U.S. policy and the well-established principles that will serve as the foundation of a peaceful settlement. I don't believe it was meant to announce anything new other than to reiterate what our longstanding position is and our commitment to this process," said Jen Psaki, U.S.  Department Spokesperson, at the Daily Press Briefing on May 7.

Asked if there is any link between what's going on in Ukraine and this new escalation of peace negotiation process in Nagorno-Karabakh, Ms. Psaki said: "I am not aware of any link. Obviously, we remain committed to the OSCE Minsk Group process and we remain a co-chair. And you're familiar with our efforts in Ukraine. I'm not aware of a link between the two."

To recall, James Warlick in his speech, 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."

The NKR Foreign Ministry has already responded to James Warlick's statement: "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."

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