WASHINGTON, DC — The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair James Warlick said it is very important for the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet in the near future.

“What we really need is to enter a new phase. It is necessary to start a new phase of intensive talks and have substantive progress,” Warlick said in an interview with the Azerbaijani service of the Voice of America.

The American diplomat believes the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan are both committed to finding the way forward, and this was seen during the November meeting in Vienna.

“What we need is to capitalize on this,” he emphasized.

The diplomat noted that people are tired of 20 years of war, and they know financial and individual resources are spent.

The Co-Chair expressed concern about the recent escalation at the line of contact and on the border, adding that the mediators want to see those tensions reduced.

“The US is very concerned about this, one life lost is already a reason for concern and more frequent cases of violence do not create the atmosphere amid which both parties can work together successfully for the sake of peace”, Warlick stated.

The US mediator said he welcomed the appeal of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Azerbaijan and Armenia urging to accept the proposal of France’s President Francois Hollande to hold next meeting of the presidents of the two conflict countries.

“We agree with that. The presidents should accept the invitation and begin productive discussions. We work very well with Russians. I work extremely well with Russian and French co-chairs. The United States is committed to the Minsk Group process, but we are also prepared to help bilaterally in any way that we can,” he said.

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