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ANCA presses U.S. Department of State on durable, democratic peace between Artsakh and Azerbaijan

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) recently held talks with senior State Department officials regarding sustainable pathways to a durable and democratic peace between Artsakh and Azerbaijan.

The meeting included the participation of Cheryl Fernandes, Director of the Office of Caucasus Affairs and Regional Conflicts, and Andrew Schofer, the U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the multilateral body charged with mediating the Artsakh talks.  Participating on behalf of the ANCA were national Chairman Raffi Hamparian and the ANCA Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan.

“The ANCA values our longstanding dialogue with the Department of State on a broad range of issues and – in particular – welcomed this most recent opportunity to discuss the most constructive avenues for the United States to contribute to peace, progress, and prosperity for the citizens of Artsakh and the neighboring states,” said ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian following the meeting.

“First and foremost, the U.S. and our OSCE partners – recognizing that progress at the peace table requires stability on the ground – must provide stronger leadership in countering Azerbaijani incitement and aggression. Second, we need to find ways to overcome Baku’s irresponsible opposition to the implementation of the Royce-Engel Peace Proposals. And third, the U.S. needs to help restart the stalled peace process by replacing the deeply flawed and clearly failed Madrid Principles with a more durable and democratic approach to peace within the OSCE Minsk Group platform.”

The Royce-Engel Peace Proposal, supported by the ANCA, has three elements:

1) An agreement by all sides not to deploy snipers, heavy arms, or any new weapons along the line-of-contact separating Artsakh and Azerbaijani forces;

2) The deployment of OSCE-monitored, advanced gunfire-locator systems and sound-ranging equipment to determine the source of attacks along the line-of-contact, and;

3) The introduction of additional OSCE observers along the line-of-contact to better monitor cease-fire violations.

To date, Azerbaijan has yet to agree to the implementation of the Royce-Engel proposal.

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