Mediating powers urge Armenia, Azerbaijan to settle Karabakh conflict

Mediating powers urge Armenia, Azerbaijan to settle Karabakh conflict

Photo: Archive photo/G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting, 2011/

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (center), French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe

The United States, Russia and France have urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to show the “political will needed to achieve a lasting and peaceful settlement” to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe issued the call on March 22 to mark the 20th anniversary of the formal request to convene a conference on the conflict.

The foreign ministers of the three countries co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group urged the leaders in Yerevan and Baku “to prepare their populations for peace, not war.”

The statement pointed out that Presidents Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan pledged to the accelerate reaching a framework peace agreement at their most recent meeting held in Sochi, Russia on January 23. “We urge the leaders of the sides to complete work as soon as possible on the framework agreement and subsequent final settlement,” it said.

“We recall that the peoples of the region have suffered most from the consequences of war, and any delay in reaching a settlement will only prolong their hardships. A new generation has come of age in the region with no first-hand memory of Armenians and Azeris living side by side, and prolonging these artificial divisions only deepens the wounds of war,” warned the top U.S., Russian and French diplomats.