YEREVAN, September 12. /ARKA/. James Warlick, American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, speaking Thursday at a news conference in Yerevan, said peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict needs mutual concessions from both sides of the conflict and peace necessity understanding by the conflicting nations.
Novosti-Armenia quoted him as saying that to solve the problem the leaders should display a good will. Otherwise, no settlement is possible.
Warlick said two decades have passed since a ceasefire agreement was signed in Nagorno Karabakh. He said the region’s peoples have paid a high price and they deserve a long-term solution, which will bring them peace and welfare.
The U.S. co-chair said that years-long negotiations show that it is a difficult task to find solution to this problem, but the United States is ready to continue searching for peaceful settlement along with two other countries co-chairing the Minsk Group – Russia and France.
He said the Minsk Group will be guided by Helsinki principles in searching for solution to Karabakh problem.
Karabakh conflict broke out in 1988 when Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan.
On December 10, 1991, a few days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the majority of the population (99.89%) voted for secession from Azerbaijan.
Afterwards, large-scale military operations began. As a result, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven regions adjacent to it.
Some 30,000 people were killed in this war and about one million people fled their homes.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations.
Since 1992, talks brokered by OSCE Minsk Group are being held over peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is co-chaired by USA, Russia and France. -0---