Baku Wants Turkey to Co-Chair Minsk Group, Says Spokesman

BAKU (Combined Sources)–Azerbaijan wants Turkey to be made a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, mediating for a settlement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict alongside the United States, Russia, and France, President Ilham Aliyev’s spokesperson told reporters on Thursday.

“Azerbaijan would like Turkey to become a co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group,” Novruz Mammadov told the Trend News Agency. "Turkey is a friendly, fraternal country and a strategic partner of Azerbaijan and it is represented in the Minsk Group.”

But consensus by all the parties involved in the conflict is needed in order for Turkey to become a co-chair, Mammadov said. “I believe the probability of Armenia conceding to a Turkey’s co-chairmanship is zero and it is therefore impossible to speak about this extensively.”

He went on to say that if Turkey can convince Armenia to support its bid for co-chairmanship, “a number of questions can be clarified” and “if an agreement can be reached on the format, Turkey will become a co-chair in the Minsk Group.”

“But I do not consider this possibility,” he added.

According to him, the conflict in Georgia has affected the world, creating a new situation in international relations with tensions between Russia and the US causing “several analysts” to speak of the “possibility that the either the co-chairs will change or the entire format of the Minsk Group.”

“Here the discussions deal with the change in the format. Because in these processes, tension arose between Russia and the US, with each country standing firm on opposing positions,” Mammadov said, adding that the recent visits to the region by individual members of the Minsk Group suggests a possible rift in the body.

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