US appoints new co-chair of the OSCE Minsk group

US appoints new co-chair of the OSCE Minsk group

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США назначили нового сопредседателя Минской группы ОБСЕ

The outgoing Richard Hoagland presented the plans for settlement in the region

Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk group Richard Hoagland August 28, will leave his post. In announcing his plans during a round table at the Washington foreign press center, Hoagland, currently holding the post of principal Deputy assistant Secretary in the Department for South and Central Asia, announced that it will be replaced by Andrew Driver – experienced diplomat, recently served as solicitor of the U.S. mission to international organizations in Vienna.

“He has experience settlement in Cyprus and in other conflicts,’ said Hoagland. – I believe that the Secretary of state and the state Department chose a brilliant co-chair”.

According to Hoagland, the appointment of a new co-chair does not mean that the United States will change the approach to solving the most acute problems of the region – such as, in particular, the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh.

International mediators in recent times call on all parties to the conflict to take measures aimed at restoring confidence in the region, where 16 months ago erupted another clash, the bloodiest since then, in 1994, an agreement was signed ceasefire. A brief but violent conflict in April 2016 claimed dozens of lives.

Since then, the United States, Russia and France co-chairing the OSCE Minsk group, continued attempts to reach a lasting peaceful solution by diplomatic means.

Hoagland during the meeting, circulated a document that lists the key points for a political settlement.

“In light of the complex history of Nagorno-Karabakh, the sides should commit to determining its final legal status through a coherent and legally binding expression of will in the future, the document says Hoagland, who, according to him, reflects the position of the OSCE co-chairs. – Interim status will be temporary”.

The territory within the borders of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous region, and is not controlled by Baku, “must obtain interim status, which at least ensures the safety and self-government,” the document says.

“The occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh should be returned to Azerbaijani control, the document says. – There can be no settlement without respect for Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, and the recognition that its sovereignty over these territories must be restored.”

Plan Hoagland also provides for the establishment of a corridor between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, however, the corridor “may not include the Lachin district.”

“Long-term solution must consider the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former place of residence, – said Hoagland. – The solution must include international guarantees of security, including peacekeeping measures. There is no scenario in which peace can be achieved without a well-designed peacekeeping operation that enjoys the confidence of all parties.”