Minister for Europe calls for renewed effort by all parties to find a permanent solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Speaking on 12 May, David Lidington, Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) said:
Today marks 20 years since the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement. While it brought an end to the fiercest fighting, real peace is yet to be achieved. Sniper fire continues to take lives on both sides; often the soldiers fighting are younger than the ceasefire itself. A humanitarian crisis continues as hundreds of thousands of displaced people still lack an adequate resolution to their plight. Peace will only be possible through compromises on both sides.
A generation now exists who only know of conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, yet these two peoples have a long, shared history of living together peacefully. Peace will only be possible once both sides have created a situation where an agreement is acceptable to their populations. Unfortunately this is not the case today. The UK remains committed to bringing people together, and developing greater understanding between the communities in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. People to people interactions, and the peace-builders who sustain these links, are an essential element of any peace and reconciliation process.
The UK supports the work of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs who continue to work hard to facilitate progress on the peace agreement. The elements making up a deal, including the return of occupied territories and the acceptance of a free expression of will on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, were once again set out clearly on 7 May by the US Co-Chair, Ambassador James Warlick. I hope both leaderships show the political courage to bring about this solution for the people of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh.