Sides should commit to determining Nagorno-Karabakh’s legal status – Richard Hoagland

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. Interim status will be temporary, outgoing US co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Richard Hoagland has said.

Speaking to journalists at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, Mr. Hoagland presented the six points of the policy on Nagorno Karabakh 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.

“Two: 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.

“Three: 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.

“Four: 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.”

“So there are the core issues of policy that we are convinced – we co-chairs and our governments – could lead to a lasting peace in the area and prosperity and security for the entire region and all of its peoples and population,” Mr. Hoagland said.

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