British Expert Criticizes Azeri Attempts to Dissolve Minsk Group

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The executive director of the London Information Network on Conflicts and State-Building Denis Samouth questioned on Tuesday the wisdom of Azerbaijan’s attempts to dissolve the OSCE Minsk Group.
The criticism of Azerbaijan’s recent attempts to undermine the Minsk Group came during his speech on relations between Armenia and Europe at a conference organized in Yerevan by LINKS and the Armenian NGO European Democratic Movement. The Minsk Group has been trying, for over a decade, to help Armenia and Azerbaijan hammer out a compromise peace deal over Nagorno-Karabakh.
In his speech Sammut stressed that Armenia’s first line of security should be good relations with its neighbors.
"Security is very important for Armenia, but in the 21st century security is not only tanks and war planes, it is also good relations with neighbors," he said, adding that the European Union could help Armenia with its relationships with Turkey and Azerbaijan.
The huge potential of the South Caucasus was strangled by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and leaders of the region should bear this in mind, Samouth said.
Last week Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian told parliament members that Azerbaijan started, through the OSCE Secretariat, a process of the Minsk Group’s dissolution.
In an interview with Armenpress, Samouth said there are many other ways to reinvigorate the process of conflict settlement. According to him, Azerbaijan has always been critical of the OSCE Minsk Group activity.
He said if Azerbaijan and Armenia are truly committed to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict they should agree on the best format to achieve it.
"The change of the talks’ format will not result in a breakthrough. What is important is that the sides negotiate by demonstrating true faith and confidence," he said.
"Unlike many others, I believe that there is a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he said. "For two years the Minsk Group, co-chaired by France, Russia and the United States, has been saying the solution is very close, the EU should pay greater attention to this issue than before and tell the sides to make the final steps."
"Wars will not solve any of the region’s problems and a military solution to Nagorno-Karabakh is unacceptable," he averred.

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