YEREVAN—President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian to “move beyond the current impasse in the negotiations,” and work toward a lasting solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Obama’s letter, an identical copy of which was directed to Azeri president Ilham Aliyev on Monday, was hand-delivered by the new US OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairman James Warlick who is on a tour of the region this week.
“It’s my hope that Ambassador Warlick’s wealth of diplomatic experience and your government’s desire for progress will bring new energy to the co-chairmanship, and to the peace process. I encourage you to take advantage of opportunities for direct dialogue with Azerbaijan in the months ahead and to avail yourself of the co-chairs’ time and experience to move beyond the current impasse in negotiations. With the outlines of the compromise already well established, now is the time for a renewed effort to bring peace to the region,” Obama said in his letter.
After meeting officials in Yerevan, Warlick told reporters that all parties will need to compromise if they are going to be successful and find a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“The people of this region have already suffered very much, and we need to find a solution that will ensure lasting peace, security, and prosperity,” Warlick stressed.
The diplomat stated that he decided to hold his first press conference in Armenia’s capital city Yerevan without his fellow Minsk Group Co-Chairs, since he would like to listen to all parties, hear their views, and better understand the situation.
“I look forward to return and get back with my fellow co-chairs. Of course there is an arms race [between the parties to the Karabakh conflict], but, most importantly, we want to ensure the stability in the region and that the conflict be resolved in a peaceful manner,” concluded the OSCE Minsk Group’s new US Co-Chair.
Warlick traveled to Stepanakert to meet with leaders of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.