YEREVAN — The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh will remain unresolved as long as there is no agreement on the disputed territory’s status, according to James Warlick, a former U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.
In an interview with Infoco.am, Warlick also said that Armenia can benefit from the opening of its borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey “once there is that kind of settlement in place.” “This can be a big change but it does require a lasting settlement,” he
“I think that Baku does need to understand that there needs to be a way to address the issue of status for Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Warlick. “There will be no permanent, lasting settlement without the issue of status being addressed.”
“I think that the way to do that is to have a negotiating process that the sides can trust, that has international guarantees from the OSCE, perhaps international peacekeepers of some sort, that provides a status for Nagorno-Karabakh, that clarifies the borders, that deals with issues such as refugees,” added the former diplomat, who led the Minsk Group, together with fellow envoys from Russia and France, from 2013 to 2016.
In his words, the United States, Russia and France should conduct such a process “at the foreign ministers’ level and higher.”
The U.S. ambassador to Armenia, Lynne Tracy, has likewise repeatedly stated that Washington believes the Karabakh conflict remains unresolved. “We do not see the status of Nagorno-Karabakh as having been resolved,” she said last September in remarks condemned by Baku.
Aliyev mocked the Minsk Group co-chairs and questioned the wisdom of their continued activities last month. “They must not deal with the Karabakh conflict because that conflict has been resolved,” he said.
Warlick suggested that Russia, which helped to stop the six-week war, can play a key role in reviving the Karabakh peace process.
“Frankly, Russia should welcome the kind of lasting settlement that really and truly brings a lasting peace to the South Caucasus,” he said. “Does Russia really want to have continued instability in the region? I don’t believe so.”