Minsk Group Co-Chairs Discuss Karabakh Conflict with OSCE Chairman

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Ways to resolve the Karabakh conflict were discussed by the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos when he met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on Wednesday, reported the OSCE Press Service.
The Co-Chairs informed Moratinos about current developmen’s on the peace process, which is becoming increasingly complicated due to the upcoming electoral processes in Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2008. They agreed that, in light of these circumstances, the Governmen’s of Armenia and Azerbaijan should not refer to the conflict in ways that might worsen the situation, and that could potentially endanger the progress achieved so far.
"Currently the negotiations are less intensive because of the forthcoming presidential elections in Armenia and Azerbaijan," the mediators noted.
The Co-Chairs also reported that they urged the parties to refrain from applying to conflict resolution mechanisms that might aggravate the situation and endanger the progress reached in the Prague process.
Moratinos expressed his support to the OSCE Minsk Group activity. The Spanish Foreign Minister has been actively supporting the endeavors of the Minsk Group and has met many times with the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as their respective ministers. Minister Moratinos paid official visits to both Armenia and Azerbaijan last June.
"Despite all the disappointmen’s, the talks continue," remarked Semneby, when commenting on the Karabakh talks. "Both Armenia and Azerbaijan realize the danger of interrupting the talks. In this uncertain situation it would mean that everything we have achieved in those years in the framework of the Prague process will disappear. It would be difficult to resume the talks regardless who is elected president in Armenia or Azerbaijan," EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby said in an interview with Mediamax.
During discussions on the European Neighborhood Policy report at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner declared that the EU Neighborhood Policy is the European Union’s main policy and its success plays a decisive role in the security, stability and prosperity of both EU members and neighbor states. Therefore, this policy must be more influential and confident and must ensure the security of all countries.
When referring to countries east of EU, Waldner emphasized the importance of paying special attention to the resolution of "frozen conflicts" in the territories of those countries.
"These conflicts pose obstacles to the implementation of reform and create a threat to our security," Waldner said. "The Neighborhood Policy must therefore play a positive role in establishing a corresponding atmosphere for solving the ‘frozen’ conflict in the South Caucasus."
In 1992, at a conference in the capital of Belarus, the OSCE created the Minsk Group to mediate in the conflict and to call for a peace conference. In 1995, in the face of negotiation delays, the group designated the United States, France and Russia to co-chair the Minsk Group, and negotiate a solution for the conflict and the future Nagorno-Karabakh Statute with the Azerbaijani and Armenian Governmen’s."

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