Russian Diplomat Says There Is No Framework in Peace Process

BAKU (Armenpress)–The Russian co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group made a surprising revelation Tuesday–saying that there was no framework agreement–which reportedly was developed by the Minsk group cochairmen as it related to the terms of the proposed peace process principles.

During an interview with the Azeri Trend news agency–the Russian co-chairman Yury Merzlyakov said the peace-brokers form the group suggested that the parties to the conflict must first coordinate the basic principles for the resolution of the conflict and develop the agreement on their basis.

He then said the co-chairmen do not use such terms as "stage-by-stage,"package" or "universal" conflict resolution options. These terms have been used throughout the 14-year OSCE conflict resolution process. In the most recent peace efforts–Azerbaijan has suggested a "step-by-step" approach–with Armenia and the Minsk Group co-chairs not commenting on the matter.

The Russian diplomat hinted that elemen’s of the peace process would be further clarified following the first visit by the US Minsk Group co-chairman Matthew Bryza to the region.

"At the moment–I am just not ready to assess the situation. It will become clearer when he goes there and listens to the parties’ opinions," he added.

Merzlyakov added that Bryza’s visit to the region had been originally scheduled for late July or early September.

In Armenia–Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian announced at a press conference Tuesday that a possibility for rapprochement between Yerevan and Baku over the Karabakh conflict resolution process did not exist.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Fawzi Sallukh–Oskanian said Bryza’s scheduled visit to the region may stimulate establishing contacts between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Matthew Bryza–in an interview Friday with the Azeri Service of BBC–said that the Minsk Group’s statement–which says "there is nothing more to be achieved for determination of the peaceful principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," does not mean that the talks have reached a deadlock.

Bryza commented that the statement means creative capabilities of the mediators have been exhausted and there is a need for new initiatives. "This is not a deadlock. This is a moment when co-chairs say ‘now the leaders should make a decision on what they want,’" he said.

In his opinion–both leaders have the political will and wish cooperation–"but do not know whether they are ready to conclude the basic principles of the framework agreement."

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