KRAKOW, Poland (RFE/RL)–The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group cochairs met in Krakow on July 24 to update the proposals for a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, called the Madrid Principles, RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service reports.
Matthew Bryza, U.S. cochair of the group, told RFE/RL that it has been nearly two years since “we presented our suggestions in November 2007 in Madrid.”
He said there has been “significant progress between the presidents” of Armenia and Azerbaijan since that time, adding that “[Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev] are getting deeper and deeper into the basic principles and have come up with some ways to bridge the differences that they encountered when they first met in June of 2008.”
Bryza said the Minsk Group cochairs “are going to take our best shot at presenting what we believe are fair and constructive ways to bridge the differences on these last few elements of basic principles that need to be agreed to.”
He said the negotiations between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents are “moving forward more aggressively” than ever before. But Bryza said it is difficult “for both presidents to convince their populations to take on the risks that both sides must take on if there is ever to be a settlement.”
He listed the most fundamental issues in the Karabakh negotiations as: “the interim and final status of Nagorno-Karabakh; the return of territories to Azerbaijan and the safe return of displaced persons; the safety and security of people living in Karabakh; and the opening of transportation links through the Caucasus.”