Finnish Minister Calls for More Talks on Karabakh

HELSINKI (Itar-Tass) — The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group should continue its efforts toward peace in Nagorno-Karabakh despite all objective and subjective difficulties– said Finnish Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen in a report on Tuesday.

The report–entitled "Finland as an Intermediary in the Karabakh Conflict," sums up the results of two years of work by Finland as a co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group and its role in negotiations between Armenia–Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Several rounds of negotiations between the sides to the conflict did not result in an agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh because of remaining differences between Armenia and Azerbaijan and their unwillingness to reach a compromise–the reports states. However–the very fact of their participation in the negotiations–mediated by the Minsk Group–proves their understanding of the need for a cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh and a mutual search for a peaceful settlement–the report continues.

The cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh has been in place for almost three years. The future task of the OSCE Minsk Group–according to Halonen–is to support and boost this process.

The report stated–however–that the success of the negotiations would depend on the flexibility of both sides and their goodwill rather than the intermediaries in the negotiations process.

Halonen–who discussed her report at a news conference Tuesday–said Finland attaches great importance to the OSCE’s role in the settlement of military conflicts–including the Karabakh conflict–and that Finland plans to continue playing an active role in the OSCE Minsk Group in an effort to achieve a political agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh.

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