Minsk Group Co-Chair Says Agreement May Satisfy 50% of Concerns

BAKU (Armenpress)–The OSCE Minsk Group Russian co-chairman Yuri Merzlyakov said Wednesday that a “possible agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan may satisfy the sides only by 50 percent.” The Russian official said they could already imagine what the possible agreement will be like.
The French co-chairman Bernard Fassier said that for reaching an agreement it was necessary to prepare the populations of the two countries for concessions and peace. “It is impossible to prepare for peace speaking only about war,” he noted.
“The Saint Petersburg meeting is already planned and we hope that important steps toward the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict will be made. Favorable condition and additional opportunities exist for it. I think the two states are already close to reaching peace,” said Russia’s ambassador to Azerbaijan Vasily Istratov.
The OSCE Minsk Group US co-chairman Mathew Bryza said Wednesday in Baku that he would not have dealt with the Karabakh issue if he considered its solution impossible.
“I think by the end of the year the conflict may be regulated. It is possible that St. Petersburg meeting will become catalyst of the regulation of the conflict,” he noted.
Fassier also said that “it is possible to have a breakthrough in the negotiation process when Armenian and Azeri presidents assign their foreign ministers to start development of draft agreement.” According to him, this breakthrough will happen sooner or later.
“There is hope that on June 9 in St. Petersburg the meeting of the Armenian and Azeri presidents will be conducted in a constructive atmosphere and will become an important step forward in the Karabakh conflict regulation process,” added Merzlyakov.
The co-chairmen positively assessed the negotiations they held with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov expressing hope that the meetings with the Armenian president and foreign minister also would be successful.

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