Great Britain May Get Involved in Peace Process

BAKU (Armenpress)–Great Britain’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Andrew Tacker said that Britain might get involved in the Karabakh conflict regulation process. In an interview with Azerbaijani news agency Turan–the ambassador said a representative of Britain might be included in the OSCE Minsk group–the only international organization authorized to help the conflicting sides to arrive to a peace formula.

Speaking about the prospects for regulation of the more than a decade-long opposition between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Karabakh–the ambassador said that his country believes that the mutually acceptable peace formula should be sought by the sides themselves.

The Baku-based 525 Gazet writes that Great Britain is one of the leading states in the OSCE–covering some 10 percent of the organization’s expenses. The ambassador also implied that international peace-keeping forces might be deployed in the conflict zone. "Great Britain’s interests in the South Caucasus are linked to its place in the European continent and the role of its NATO ally Turkey in the region," he said.

In London–at the World Bank International Monetary Fund (IMF) Conference on development in Armenia–Azerbaijan–Georgia–Kyrgyzstan–Moldova–Tajikistan and Uzbekistan–Britain’s Development Minister Clare Short said government creditors should offer debt relief and more aid to impoverished countries in the former Soviet Union in exchange for economic reform and plans to fight poverty.

"No strategy and no amount of international support will work without genuine commitment – both from governmen’s and people – to poverty reduction–and real determination to put in place the often difficult reforms necessary to achieve this," Short said in a speech.

Some of the countries in the former Soviet Union have levels of poverty which match those in poor countries in Africa–Asia and Latin America and since the collapse of the Soviet Union–levels of social spending have halved as debts have soared.

According to a study by the World Bank and IMF–debts of the five poorest countries–Armenia–Georgia–Kyrgyzstan–Moldova and Tajikistan now total $4.3 billion.

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