(AP, RFE/RL) - The head of the OSCE parliamentary assembly called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to avoid "militant rhetoric" in their conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, and said peace efforts must be intensified.
"It is necessary to act more actively in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to the category of conflicts that cannot be resolved with the help of time alone," the official, Adrian Severin, said Sunday night.
Severin was on a tour of the troubled region, visiting Azerbaijan, Armenia and Karabakh. He met with the prime minister of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Anushavan Danielian, and other Karabakh Armenian leaders in Stepanakert on Sunday.
During a meeting with Severin last week, Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliev threatened that his country will take military action to change the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh if it does not get more support from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Aliev, who has made a series of similar statements recently, also accused the OSCE's Minsk group, which is trying to broker a political settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh, of being reluctant to push for concessions from the ethnic Armenians who control the enclave.
"We think that the sides to the conflict should avoid militant rhetoric," Severin said. "On the contrary, they should use a lexicon conducive to a favorable atmosphere for the sake of a peaceful solution to the problem."