Response to Minsk Group Co-Chairs, Personal Rep. of CiO, and HLPG Head: Statement to the PC

The United States warmly welcomes the three Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, together with the Chairmanship’s Personal Representative, as well as the Head of the High-Level Planning Group, to the Permanent Council. We reiterate our strong support for their work and appreciate their continued engagement with the sides to advance a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The United States shares the frustration of the sides that this conflict has gone on far too long. We are deeply troubled by the escalation of violence in recent months, and condemn in the strongest terms the use of mortars and other heavy weapons that have caused civilian casualties. We reiterate our calls for comprehensive negotiations that can lead to a peace agreement and for implementing measures aimed at de-escalating tensions and avoiding further civilian casualties. We would also support the OSCE’s involvement in implementing such measures.

The United States welcomes the commitment of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to hold a summit by the end of this year. We hope that these talks, as well as ongoing consultations, will lead to an intensification of the presidents’ dialogue and open the door for comprehensive negotiations.

The United States supports confidence-building measures and increased dialogue between Armenians and Azerbaijanis that can help stabilize the security situation and create a more constructive atmosphere for negotiations.

As a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains deeply committed – as Ambassador Warlick has underscored this morning – to working with the sides to find a lasting and peaceful resolution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna