September 12, 2013 - 17:35 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The new U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick explained his decision for a visit to the South Caucasus region not accompanied by his colleagues at a September 12 news conference in Yerevan.
“I seek to hear every side and their approach to the problem as well as familiarize myself with the situation before I return here with my colleagues,” he said.
“I hope for partnership with the Russian co-chair in the conflict settlement efforts,” he said, refusing, however, to comment on whether Armenia’s joining the Customs Union will affect America’s further steps.
He also urged for political will, compromise and the acknowledgement that the fate of the generations depends on the outcome of the issue in the settlement of the conflict.
He also called against armament drive in the conflict zone. As Warlick noted, during his visit to Baku, a possibility for a peaceful settlement was discussed.
The co-chair will next travel to Stepanakert to meet the Nagrono Karabakh Republic’s leadership.
Earlier, Warlick met Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan during his visit to Yerevan.
At the meeting, the Foreign Minister expressed hope for Warlick’s major diplomatic experience to contribute to the Karabakh conflict settlement. He further stressed Armenia’s determination to pursue peaceful solution to the issue based on the principles offered by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
Situation at the line of contact was discussed during the meeting with the Defense Minister, with the necessity to observe the ceasefire, reduce tension at contact line and boost trust between the conflicting parties stressed.
At a Baku-hosted briefing, Warlick urged to find a way to achieve piece and prosperity in the region on the threshold of the 20th anniversary of ceasefire.
"It's time for the Minsk Group, Azerbaijan, Armenia and other countries in the region to take necessary steps to achieve a lasting peace in Karabakh," Azeri media quoted the co-chair as saying.
"I'm here to better understand the situation. I'm not here for the past, I'm here to help build a conflict-free future," the co-chair said, expressing hope for the conflicting parties to realize that the settlement will be to everyone's benefit.