By Harry Tamrazian
In a statement issued today in Yerevan, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen said they have presented to the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan new ideas which they believe could bring closer the sides' positions on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. U.S. special representative for Nagorno Karabakh, Ambassador Rudolf Perina, Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov and French co-chairman Philippe de Suremain said in their joint statement that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Robert Kocharian and Heidar Aliyev, still bear the main responsibility for finding a compromise solution to the conflict.
According to the statement, the OSCE co-chairmen made clear in their meetings with the leaders of the conflicting sides that war rhetoric and calls for a military solution to the Karabakh conflict are not acceptable. They also said that a resumption of hostilities would have disastrous consequences not only for the two countries but also for the whole Caucasus region. The international mediators also said that majority of the population in both countries advocates a peaceful solution of the conflict.
The US, Russian and French co-chairs believe that Armenians and Azerbaijanis are partners in the common cause in the fight against international terrorism. This phenomenon has created favorable conditions for the parties involved to make greater efforts to speed up the settlement of the conflict. Stressing that the situation in the conflict region has become more stable due to the strengthening of the cease-fire regime, the international mediators warned that the situation of "No war, no peace" will keep Armenia and Azerbaijan out of the positive integrating processes that are now taking place in the world.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs left Yerevan today.