EU Says Military Solution to Karabakh Conflict Unacceptable

European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner with Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–"A military solution to the [Karabakh] Conflict is unacceptable," European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner Tuesday told reporters in Armenia.
Ferrero-Waldner was in Armenia Tuesday as a member of the EU Troika Delegation for the opening of the EU’s new diplomatic mission in Armenia. Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel and EU Special Representative to the South Caucasus Peter Semneby were also in Armenia as part of the delegation.
According to Ferrero-Waldner, Europe is against any type of military solution to the conflict, especially since such a large amount of resources and efforts have been spent on finding a lasting and peaceful solution.
"As a matter of fact, there is a solution to [the conflict]," she said. "But the two sides need to demonstrate political will."
Commenting on the increasing belligerence of Azerbaijani rhetoric during its presidential elections period, Ferrero-Waldner expressed hope that the election campaigns in Armenia and Azerbaijan would be free from statemen’s that may exacerbate the efforts at finding a solution to the Karabakh Conflict.
"We do not promote [military] solutions and we urge an end to the belligerent rhetoric," echoed Troika Delegation head Rupel.
The EU is trying to help the two sides find a mutually acceptable peace formula by implementing democracy and reform in an environment of mutual trust, he added.
Rupel also questioned the wisdom of bringing the leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh back to negotiating table saying that it would be only a formal change to the current format and would hardly result in any tangible breakthrough.
"I do not think involvement of one more side in the negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict will promote the process," he stated. "With the assistance of the OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairs the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents and foreign ministers are holding active negotiations to find solutions to the conflict."
According to Ferrero-Waldner, the EU would help Armenia develop steady safety standards for a new nuclear power plant, which the government in Yerevan wants to build to replace the old facility but would not fund its construction. Armenia in all likelihood would build the plant with the financial support of Russia, she added.
During the Troika Delegations visit to Armenia Tuesday, Delegation head Rupel met with Armenian President Robert Kocharian to discuss Armenia-EU cooperation and the Armenia’s Action Plan for implementing the European Neighborhood Policy.
Relations between Armenian and the EU have become much more coordinated due to the Action Plan, Kocharian said. He welcomed the opening of a new diplomatic mission of the European Union in Armenia.
Referring to the forthcoming presidential elections, Robert Kocharian said the period is a very responsible one for the country.
"We are interested in holding really good elections in line with international standards," he stressed. "We will do our best to organize elections in the best way possible."
The two parties also spoke about the latest developmen’s in negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh Conflict, Armenia’s approaches toward issues of energy security and regional cooperation.

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