by Ashot Safaryan
OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair of USA James Warlick is trying to give a new impetus to the Kabakh peace process, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern said commenting on Warlick's speech at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
Ambassador Heffern says there are several reasons of why Warlick decided to introduce 6 elements of the Karabakh conflict's resolution just now. First and foremost, Heffer said, on 14 May it will be 20 years since the ceasefire treaty. Second, there has been no progress in the peaceful negotiations over the last few months, and Warlick is trying to give a new impetus to the negotiations, the ambassador said. And the third reason, as Ambassador Heffern thinks, is that Warlick seeks to present USA's policy and separate the status of Nagornj Karabakh and the status of the territories adjacent to it, as there is an impression that they in the two capitals and the two publics, in Nagorno Karabakh, perceive these territories like something common, while they are different. In this light, John Heffern is sure that the results should be different as well.
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."