The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a major obstacle to the region's economic development and security, Matthew Bryza, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan and former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, told journalists in Baku on Friday, APA reported.
Bryza said that Armenia should withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani territories, noting that there is a need to find a common language between the two countries.
He added that there has been a framework agreement on the settlement of the conflict for more than 10 years.
“These are the Madrid principles, which should be adhered to till the end. But this is impossible without the personal contribution of the US and Russian presidents,” said the ex-ambassador. “When I was an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, there was such a moment that we were able to move forward. US President George W. Bush and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev were paying attention and contributing to this issue. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was also very creative. This stimulated the need for creative thinking.”
Bryza added that now there is no policy either regarding the South Caucasus and the whole world.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in December 1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.