Nalbandian and OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Warlick Meet in D.C.

On March 31, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian met
with OSCE Minsk Group US. Co-Chair James Warlick to discuss the Nagorno
Karabakh conflict. Nalbandian is in Washington, D.C. as part of the Armenian
Delegation to the Nuclear Security Summit, accompanying President Serzh
Sargsyan
.

Nalbandian pointed out to Warlick Azerbaijan’s continuous
ceasefire violations, especially during recent holidays. On March 21, the OSCE
Minsk Group Co-Chairs made a statement asking both sides to “strictly respect
the ceasefire during the holidays of Nowruz Bayram and Easter,” and urged the
sides to  “create the conditions for the people of the region to celebrate
these holidays in peace.” Nalbandian referenced this statement, arguing that
Azerbaijan did not honor this request.

“Ignoring the appeal of the Co-Chairs and the Special
Representative of the German Government for the OSCE Chairmanship to respect
ceasefire during religious holidays, Baku has intensified the gross violations
of ceasefire in the wake and during the Easter,” Nalbandian said. “Such
provocations of Azerbaijan have become routine. The same is happening in the
negotiation process. If previously Baku was undermining the negotiations through
various means, including by attempting to shift the issue to other formats,
now, probably witnessing the inefficiency of its steps, it has not made up
anything but rejecting meetings with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs.”

Nalbandian believes this is a futile attempt by Azerbaijan
to exert pressure upon the negotiation process and the Co-Chairs.

Both sides continued the conversation discussing the
possibilities of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settling through exclusively
peaceful means.

James Warlick: Lasting Solution to the Karabakh Conflict a Priority

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By

Siranush Ghazanchyan

(ArmRadio) – “The lasting solution to the Karabakh conflict is a priority for us,” U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick said in an interview with Voice of America.

“The attempts to violate the ceasefire are a cause of great concern for us, the clashes reported in January last year were unprecedented since the conclusion of the ceasefire agreement. The most worrisome are the losses suffered by the peaceful population, we condemn the use of heavy weapons,” Warlick said.

Ambassador Warlick also spoke about a recent letter written by

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-CA), which outlines steps to maintain peace in Karabakh. Proposals in the letter include installing equipment at the front line to discover the direction of the shots fired, as well as the deployment of OSCE observers at the Line of Contact for better oversight of the ceasefire.

Mr. Warlick noted that, “although the letter has not been finally confirmed, the Minsk Group Co-Chairs support this process targeted at the maintenance of peace.”

“Our purpose is to work with the parties to reach a common ground,” Ambassador Warlick added.