Thursday, December 15, 2005

American mediator in Karabakh settlement does not supports parallels with Kosovo

On December 15, co-chairmen of OSCE Minsk Group on settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict have made a joint statement where they expressed positive attitude towards the results of negotiations in Armenia with President Robert Kocharyan, Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan and President of Nagorno Karabakh Arkadi Gukasyan. They noted that the process of conflict settlement is progressing and can create the basis for strengthening peace at the contact line, and further lead to a stable peace. The statement also noted that with President Kocharyan they discussed the results of negotiations of foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan that took place in Ljubljana.

As a REGNUM correspondent informs, Co-Chairman from the Russian party Yuri Merzlyakov did not rule out that the positive results of negotiation process in 2006 can be the recommencement of full-scale negotiations process within OSCE Minsk Group, including Karabakh. He said that participation of Karabakh in negotiations is inevitable, but it must be the decision of the parties in the conflict, not the co-chairmen.

Speaking about “Kosovo model” in Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement, American Co-Chairman Steven Mann stated that he could not make any parallels of Kosovo and Karabakh, because every conflict has its own peculiarities. According to Mann, “the parties in negotiations have only tough positions; none of them has demonstrated soft approach. Baku and Yerevan are sincere in their willingness to solve the conflict, but it doesn't simplify the task.”

French co-chairman Bernard Fassier stated that present time is the “golden window” in the conflict settlement that will last for 1-1.5 years, because of absence of any electoral activity in both countries. “Elections make this tough problem even tougher,” he said.

Speaking about the possibility of a meeting between Kocharyan and Aliyev (Azerbaijani President), the co-chairmen noted that organizing process continued. They also noted that foreign ministers of both countries presented proposals in Ljubljana on fundamental issues of the conflict settlement. Nagorno Karabakh president has been also informed about them. “The negotiations with Robert Kocharyan make us optimistic about our work,” stated Steven Mann.

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