Nagorno Karabakh: The Plan on the Table

Confirming public discussion about a possible agreement between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, interim U.S. Co-Chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, Ambassador Richard Hoagland, announced that there is a plan on the table for an agreement between the parties.

Speaking at a press conference in Yerevan, Armenia, Ambassador Hoagland mentioned that there is a diplomatic process underway at the moment, which he hopes will result in a meeting between president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in the near future.

Without providing details, the co-chair mentioned that the agreement is comprised of three parts, is comprehensive and detailed, and is internationally approved.

Earlier this month, Ambassador Hoagland visited Baku, where he gave the same message he announced in Armenia: “Everyone knows we are at the one year anniversary of the violence that occurred in April last year in Nagorno Karabakh. Our message is that this anniversary should be marked at the negotiating table; it should not be marked on the battlefield.” Citing diplomatic sensitivities, he did not comment on the details of his discussions with President Aliyev.

Asked whether the proposal was initiated by Russia or the entire Minsk Group, Ambassador Hoagland refrained from commenting. Instead, he urged the public not to refer to the proposal as the “Lavrov Plan,” referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s proposals that were allegedly introduced to the conflicting parties after the breakout of the Karabakh War on April 2, 2016. Lavrov’s proposals reflected the Madrid Principles with some adjustments.

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The statement from the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair comes less than a week before the one year anniversary of the April War of 2016, as well as Armenia’s parliamentary elections. On April 2, Armenians will go to the polls to elect a new parliament under the new constitution adopted by a referendum on May 2015, which transforms Armenia from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary one.

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In addition, in the last three weeks, although there have been some violations of ceasefire in the Line of Contact, there have been no casualties reported by the Armenian side.

Reported by Syuzanna Petrosyan

Photo` by Davit Hakobyan