YEREVAN, September 11. /ARKA/. The U.S. will continue to do everything possible for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the newly-appointed US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick, said at a meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Yerevan.
The Armenian foreign ministry said the two men discussed the details of the Karabakh peace process.
Nalbandian was said to have congratulated Warlick on his new appointment, stressing that Armenia highly appreciates the mediation efforts of successive U.S. and other countries’ co-chairs for a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
Foreign Minister expressed hope that Warlicks’ wealth of experience will serve this purpose. Nalbandian said also Armenia is determined for peaceful resolution of the conflict on the basis of principles developed by the Minsk Group.
The Nagorno-Karabakh broke out in 1988 after the predominantly Armenian-populated Karabakh declared about secession from Azerbaijan. As Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union and removed the powers held by the Karabakh’s government, the Armenian majority voted in 1991, December 10, to secede from Azerbaijan and in the process proclaimed the enclave the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Full-scale fighting, initiated by Azerbaijan, erupted in the late winter of 1992. International mediation by several groups including Europe's OSCE’s failed to bring an end resolution that both sides could work with. In the spring of 1993, Armenian forces captured regions outside the enclave itself. By the end of the war in 1994, the Armenians were in full control of most of the enclave and also held and currently control seven regions beyond the administrative borders of Nagorno-Karabakh. Almost 1 million people on both sides have been displaced as a result of the conflict. A Russian- -brokered ceasefire was signed in May 1994 and peace talks, mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group, have been held ever since by Armenia and Azerbaijan. -0-