Clinton speaks of "new approaches" towards Karabakh conflict settlement

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has spoken of "new approaches" towards the resolution of the Karabakh conflict which she said she has discussed with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan during her visit to the region which ended yesterday. Speaking in Baku at a joint Press Conference with the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov, Clinton spoke about the deaths of Armenian and Azerbaijani soldiers on the front line in recent days. 

"It is painful to think about these young soldiers or anyone being killed, and there’s no military solution to this conflict. We mourn the senseless deaths of Azerbaijani and Armenian alike. And we should honor their deaths by recommitting ourselves to peace and doing everything we can, as quickly as possible, to pursue a path towards peace. There will be a meeting in about, I guess, two weeks between the two foreign ministers who will meet with the Minsk co-chairs. And we will explore some new approaches that I have had the opportunity to discuss with the foreign ministers and with the presidents, because there has to be a solution. It’s the year 2012. It is past time that we resolved this issue, and I’m going to do everything I can – and I’ve pledged that to both presidents – to help facilitate a resolution and the end of the deaths of anyone around this tragic situation."

Clinton earlier had talks with the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev, with Foreign Minister Mammadyarov and with representatives of civil society organisations.

The idea of "new approaches" to the conflict settlement has however been immediately rebuffed by the leadership of the self declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). Speaking in Stepanakert, the spokeperson of the NKR leadership said that these new approaches were not relevant.   

Karabakh President's Spokesman David Babayan told Armenian News-NEWS.am, "Following the ceasefire regime rude violations by the Azerbaijani side, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statements on applying new approaches for the Karabakh conflict settlement are not relevant" According to the agency, Babayan said "Azerbaijan continues to violate the ceasefire regime, kills Armenian servicemen and at the same time remains temporary member of the UN Security Council. It is nonsense. The United States should provide with more realistic estimation and change its position on the given issue," Babayan said. "Currently the United States should pay more attention to maintaining ceasefire regime in the line of the contact and work with Azerbaijan on this regard. Other offers are not relevant at the moment", he added.

In the meantime the OSCE Chairman Special Representative for the Karabakh Conflict Settlement process, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, yesterday met in Stepanakert with the NKR President Bako Sahakyan. Discussions focussed primarily on the situation on the frontline.

Both Armenian and Azerbaijani sources report that the situation remains tense with regular exchanges of fire.

source: commonspace.eu with the Press Service of the US State Department and News.am

photo: The president of the self declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakyan at a meeting with the OSCE Envoy, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk on 6 June 2012.

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