The United States will continue to press for a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with renewed vigor, the U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, John Heffern said on Tuesday.
“Secretary of State [John] Kerry has recommitted us, has renewed our commitment to finding a peaceful resolution to this conflict,” Heffern told reporters. He did not specify whether this heralds a stronger U.S. push for a Karabakh settlement or new peace proposals to the conflicting parties.
Heffern said Washington hopes that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan will meet again “in the not-too-distant future” and try to end the current impasse in the peace process.
The U.S. and the two other mediating powers, Russia and France, believe that Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev could build on progress that was reportedly made by them at their most recent meeting held last November. They planned to organize another Armenian-Azerbaijani summit early this year. But it was thwarted by an upsurge in ceasefire violations in the conflict zone.
U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group cited no possible dates for the summit after holding fresh talks with the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in Brussels last week. In a joint statement, they said only that they “discussed possible agenda items for a presidential summit, underscoring the importance of a meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan for achieving progress in peace negotiations.”
The mediators proceeded to Vienna last Wednesday to brief representatives of other OSCE member states on their peace efforts. “I reminded [OSCE officials] that a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement should be a priority, even with many global concerns,” James Warlick, the Minsk Group’s U.S. co-chair, tweeted afterwards.
Warlick warned earlier this month that the Karabakh status quo is becoming “increasingly dangerous.”