STEPANAKERT (Arka)— David Babayan, a spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh president, has welcomed today the May 16 meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Vienna, Austria, describing it as the first push for the renewal of the Karabakh peace process.
During the meeting mediated by the United States, Russia and France late on Monday Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan agreed to work out safeguards against ceasefire violations around Nagorno-Karabakh and resume their search for a compromise peace deal.
The two presidents will meet again in early June in an attempt to revive the Karabakh peace process, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and France’s State Secretary for Europe Affairs Harlem Desir said after co-hosting the talks.
Speaking to Novosti-Armenia news agency today David Babayan said after the Azerbaijan aggression against Karabakh in early April the negotiation process was practically in a coma and the May 16 meeting is the first attempt to resuscitate the negotiation process.
“The most important thing is that the parties are required to comply strictly with the provisions of the 1994-95 ceasefire agreements. This means that the international community will not tolerate any action to change the current military and political balance of forces in the region. It is also important that these agreements were tripartite, thus Nagorno-Karabakh must also participate in the maintenance of peace and stability and implementation of the provisions of the agreements,” said Babayan.
“The statements made in Vienna are really encouraging. Of course, we do not look at them through ‘rose-colored glasses’ because Azerbaijan is an unpredictable, terrorist country. They breached the ceasefire again on May 17 overnight killing a serviceman of Karabakh defense army,’ he said.
The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Ministry also issued an announcement, welcoming the talks in Vienna:
“We commend the meeting of Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held on May 16 in Vienna with participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Secretary of State of the United States and the Minister of State for European Affairs of France, and support the agreement reached at the meeting to finalize the OSCE investigative mechanism, to expand the existing Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office, as well as to continue the exchange of data on missing persons under the auspices of the ICRC.
We also share the position of co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group, excluding any possibility of a military solution to the conflict and insisting on the importance of respecting the ceasefire agreements of 1994 and 1995.
These agreements that put an end to large-scale hostilities and thus created the opportunity for finding a peaceful settlement to the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, have been achieved thanks to full participation of all three parties – Azerbaijan, the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Armenia, in the negotiations. The logic of the settlement process requires the restoration of negotiations on finding a final solution to the conflict in that very trilateral format.”