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Minsk Group US Co-Chair Presents Six Main Points for Karabakh Conflict Settlement

“The area within the boundaries of the former Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region that is not controlled by Baku should be granted interim status that, at a minimum, provides guarantees for security and self-governance,” US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Richard Hoagland, who’ll be stepping down from the position at the end of August, said Wednesday at a press conference in Washington, while presenting the 6 main points for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Hoagland’s last speech as a Minsk Group co-chair was published by the Voice of America.

“In light of Nagorno-Karabakh’s complex history, the sides should commit to determining its final legal status through a mutually agreed and legally binding expression of will in the future.

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

“There should be a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh. It must be wide enough to provide secure passage, but it cannot encompass the entire area of the Lachin district.

“An enduring settlement will have to recognize the right of all IDPs – internally displaced people – and refugees to return to their former places of residence.

“Next, a settlement must include international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation. There is no scenario in which peace can be assured without a well-designed peacekeeping operation that enjoys the confidence of all sides. The time has come for the sides to commit themselves to peace negotiations, building on the foundation of the work done so far,” Hoagland said.

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