Aliyev Calls On OSCE to Settle Conflict in 2002

BAKU (Armenpress)–Azeri President Heydar Aliyev called on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to direct all efforts to settling the Karabakh conflict in 2002. OSCE acting Chairman Jaime Gama arrived in Baku on March 7 to meet with Azeri President Haydar Aliyev and Azeri Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliev.

Gama was quoted by Radio Free Europe as saying that his visit aims to discuss the political settlement of Karabakh conflict with Azeri authorities.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliev said the OSCE is failing in its efforts to help resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Guliev made the commen’s at the start of the talks with Jaime Gama–the acting OSCE chairman and Portugal’s Foreign Minister in Baku.

Guliev said that in the past decade–the OSCE could have achieved better results in resolving the conflict. He accused the OSCE of taking what he called a "soft position" towards Armenia and "putting its head in the sand".

Aliyev underlined that Azerbaijan has set its hopes on OSCE and the Minsk group co-chairmen and that unfortunately–despite all efforts–the Karabakh conflict is still unsettled. However–the Azeri president expressed that he thinks the Minsk group can play a positive role in the process of establishing peace. He added he is waiting for the co-chairmen’s visit to Baku on March 8 and confirmed that "Azerbaijan adheres to the peaceful settlement of the conflict".

Diplomats from France–Russia–and the United States–who represent the Minsk group mandated by the OSCE to mediate in the dispute–are expected to put forward fresh proposals in Baku on March 8.

Before leaving for Lisbon on March 7th evening–Gama said he believes the new proposals will "reinvigorate" the search for a solution to the dispute. He thinks it is necessary to direct all efforts to the activation of Minsk group’s activity. He added that OSCE supports the mediatory activity of Minsk group.

He considered his meeting with Azeri president as successful and beneficial. He particularly stressed that Heydar Aliyev is against the military settlement of the conflict. Gama said he will inform the Minsk group co-chairmen about the content of the meeting.

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