U.S. ambassador to OSCE: status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict unacceptable

(c) the OSCE website
(c) the OSCE website

Permanent Representative of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE James S. Gilmore III, speaking at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council during discussions on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement report, said that the status quo is unacceptable. The text of his speech is published at the OSCE website.

"We are encouraged by the constructive high-level contacts between the leaders and foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Let’s take stock: since your last appearance in this hall, you brought together President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan here in Vienna. Since your last brief to the Permanent Council, you have also facilitated five meetings of the foreign ministers in Milan, Paris, Moscow, Washington, and at the United Nations General Assembly in New York," he said in the first place.

This level of contact should – and can – pay direct and positive dividends. We encourage the sides to agree on concrete measures discussed throughout this year on specific humanitarian and security measures to prepare the populations for peace and reduce tensions," James S. Gilmore III said.

"We also welcome the simultaneous release of prisoners that took place on June 28. Yet, agreement on these issues is not enough. We call on the sides to translate these agreements into concrete actions now. The time has come for the sides to prepare their populations for peace, and to refrain from mutual accusations and recriminations," the envoy noted.

"The United States supports confidence-building measures and increased dialogue between Armenians and Azerbaijanis that can stabilize the security situation and foster a more constructive atmosphere for negotiations. Those participating in dialogue must be able to do so freely and without fear of harassment or recrimination when they return home. Ambassador Kasprzyk, we welcome your assessment of the situation on the ground, and we value the efforts of your team to promote transparency and confidence among the sides. This work is indispensable and has our full support. We appreciate your close collaboration with the Slovak Chair in supporting the Co-Chairs’ mediation efforts and with the sides in stabilizing the situation on the ground," he thanked the OSCE Minsk Group.

"There can be no military solution to this conflict, and the status quo is unacceptable. The United States is committed to working with the sides to find a lasting and peaceful resolution based on the principles, shared by participating States, of non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self-determination of peoples, as embraced in the Helsinki Final Act, which remains the key instruments of principles and conduct for the OSCE member States," James S. Gilmore III stressed.

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