France Named Minsk Group Co Chairman

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)-Head of the Political and Security Department of the French Foreign Ministry Jacques Blott assumed the co-chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group on Tuesday– replacing the departing Finnish co-chairman.

Russia will remain as the other co-chairman.

According to a Radio Liberty correspondent–despite efforts at the recent OSCE Lisbon summit–the US failed to secure the co-chairmanship of the mediating group.

Diplomats said the decision was accepted after discussions with all 54 members of the OSCE. According to the same sources–Russia too was willing to have France as co- chairman.

US representatives in Vienna told Radio Liberty they were disappointed by this decision–but refrained from any commen’s. Observers in Vienna–pleased with the French replacement–said Europe should play a larger role in international organizations.

According to the Armenian service of Radio Liberty– Azerbaijan supported the candidacy of the United States.

Armenia had a positive stance toward the candidacies of Germany–France and the US–Presidential spokesperson Levon Zourabian said during a Wednesday briefing.

"Generally–Armenia would agree to any state–except Turkey–which cannot be impartial," Zourabian said.

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