US MEDIATOR URGES PARTIES TO KARABAKH CONFLICT TO MAKE COMPROMISE

Turan news agency
26 Jul 04


BAKU

The USA is interested in a negotiated settlement of the Nagornyy
Karabakh conflict. Washington stands for stability in the region and
against any developments that could undermine it, the US co-chairman
in the OSCE Minsk Group, Steven Mann, has told Regnum news agency.

The breach of regional stability could pose a threat to such major
regional projects as the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, he added.

Commenting on the results of a recent visit to the region by the Minsk
Group co-chairmen, Mann noted that it was an attempt to bring the
sides' positions closer together and help them find ways of resolving
the conflict.

According to him, co-chairmen understand how difficult the situation
is for the heads of the two countries. Tensions on both sides run
high, however, the issue must not be dealt with under the influence of
emotions.

"We will do everything to prevent a new tragedy," Mann stressed.

Responding to the criticism of the Minsk Group Mann said: "We are not
gods, a solution to the conflict has to be found by the parties to the
conflict themselves."

The US co-chairman believes that a solution has to be found by the
heads of the two states. Responsibility rests with them, not with
mediators, Mann said. He added that the parties to the conflict had
chosen the OSCE themselves and that the Minsk Group would continue its
work.

Mann also spoke in favour of Nagornyy Karabakh's involvement in the
talks. In his opinion, this may speed up a settlement.

At the same time, the diplomat dismissed reports that he had urged
Armenia to unilaterally vacate some of the occupied territories.