September 16, 2013 - 15:25 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick met with the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier in Vienna.
The meeting focused on Karabakh settlement, including confidence building between the conflicting parties.
As Warlick noted in this context, meetings to be held within the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in New York will be the next step in the OSCE MG efforts to resolve the issue.
Last week, Warlick paid his first visit to the South Caucasus in a capacity of the OSCE MG co-chair, travelling to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
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.
At a September 12 news conference in Yerevan, Warlick explained his decision for a visit to the South Caucasus region not accompanied by his colleagues.
“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.
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.
In Karabakh, Warlick participated in the monitoring of the line of contact and met with the President of the Republic Bako Sahakyan.
The meeting focused on the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict and the ways to resolve it through peaceful means.
President Sahakyan noted that the biggest obstacle to the conflict settlement is the destructive policy of official Baku, which becomes a threat to the regional peace and stability.
Artsakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Karen Mirzoyan and other officials attended the meeting. “Our goal is to open the channels of communication. And that's why I'm here - to listen and learn. And I appreciate very much the opportunity to see a beautiful Nagorno Karabakh,” ambassador Warlick said. “I am here to see the possibilities to achieve stable and lasting peace, as well establishment of mutual trust between the people.”