The United States and Russia continue to work together in trying to broker a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict despite their disagreements on other international problems, a senior U.S. diplomat insisted on Tuesday.
“Despite our differences in other parts of the world, we see eye to eye on the way forward and we want to coordinate our diplomacy,” James Warlick, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, told reporters in Yerevan.
Warlick made the comment as he answered a question about the sincerity of Russia’s peace efforts given large-scale arms supplies to Azerbaijan. “We are concerned about the arms buildup and risks that that poses for peace and for successful negotiations,” he said before insisting that U.S.-Russian cooperation in the Karabakh peace process is continuing despite Russia’s deepening standoff with the West.
Russia has also been supplying large quantities of weapons to Armenia, its main regional ally.
Warlick, who arrived in Yerevan late on Monday, spoke to Armenian reporters before holding talks with President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian. He described the talks as a continuation of Sarkisian’s September 4 meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, which was organized by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Wales. Warlick was also present at that meeting.
Kerry reportedly urged Aliyev and Sarkisian to “strictly respect the ceasefire and take additional steps to prepare their publics for peace.” “If we are to find a way to lasting peace we know that violence must end and the ceasefire must be respected,” Warlick said on Tuesday.
According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, the U.S. mediator and Nalbandian “exchanged thoughts” on unpublicized issues that were discussed at the Wales meeting. A ministry statement said they also stressed the importance of another Armenian-Azerbaijani summit which French President Francois Hollande plans to host next month.