Karabagh Russia Minsk Group Say UN Discussion of Conflict Bad Idea

STEPANAKERT (Interfax/Itar-Tass)–The foreign ministries of both Mountainous Karabagh Republic and Russia–as well as the OSCE Minsk Group (the group spearheads the OSCE effort to find a political solution to this conflict)–all spoke out against including the Karabagh conflict on the UN General Assembly’s agenda. The move–initiated by Azerbaijan–was backed by the UN General Committee which voted to recommend the inclusion of the issue on the agenda of the assembly’s ongoing session.

"The Azeri-initiated UN discussions on the territories controlled by Mountainous Karabagh has yet again shown Azerbaijan’s disinclination to settle the entire range of problems between Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh," MKR Deputy Foreign Minister Masis Mailian told Interfax.

Azerbaijan alleges that the territory is used for drug manufacturing and terrorist training.

"This step by Baku is purely propagandistic in its nature–which in no way facilitates the creation of a favorable atmosphere–essential for reaching a comprehensive solution to the Karabagh problem," Mailian said.

Karabagh has repeatedly invited Azeri authorities to start implementing confidence building measures between the conflicting parties so as to resume full-scale negotiations–which are "the most efficient method for settling the conflict," Mailian said.

The Russian cochairman of the OSCE Minsk Yury Merzlyakov said the action could harm efforts to bring about a just and lasting settlement

Interviewed by Azerbaijan’s ATV television–Merzlyakov said the UN General Assembly’s session is not the proper forum to discuss the matter.

Merzlyakov iterated the Minsk Group’s statement on the move–that says–"Today–when we are all waiting for the sides to resume talks–there was no necessity to raise the issue."

In its statement released on Monday–the Russian Foreign Ministry said the suggestion to debate a Karabagh settlement at the UN General Assembly–parallel with OSCE efforts–"can hardly have a beneficial effect on the negotiating process."

Russia–along with France and the US who represent the countries that make-up OCSE Minsk Group–abstained from the UN vote.

"The group’s format permits it to deal with any problems related to the conflict and to ensuring peace," the statement continued.

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