Matthew Bryza, the U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan, has reportedly sounded optimistic about the likelihood of an Armenian-Azerbaijani framework agreement to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“I think -- and that is possible -- that the presidents will finish their work on the basic principles [of a peaceful settlement,]” Bryza was quoted by 1news.az as saying on Monday when asked whether the conflict will be resolved in the next few years.
He said he “will make every effort” to help the U.S., French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group make the principles drafted by them acceptable to both parties to the conflict.
Bryza served as U.S. deputy assistant secretary state and co-chaired the Minsk Group with Russian and French diplomats when the framework accord was first formally submitted to Armenia and Azerbaijan in late 2007.
The document, which has been modified since then, calls for a gradual settlement that would start with the liberation of Armenian-occupied territories around Karabakh and end in a referendum on the disputed territory’s status. The two sides continue to disagree on some of its confidential details. They also make differing interpretations of this peace formula.
Presidents Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan claimed to have made further progress toward such a settlement at their last talks that were hosted by their Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, in March. A senior Russian diplomat has reportedly said that Sarkisian and Aliyev may meet again this summer.