Director at International Crisis Group Calls for Turkish Role in Karabakh Peace

BAKU (Day.az)–Turkey can and must facilitate the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the International Crisis Group’s Caucasus Project Director, Lawrence Sheets, said on Wednesday.

"This country is interested in stability in the Caucasus. Contribution to the peace process will strengthen Ankara’s position in the region and help its EU bid," Day.az quoted Sheets as saying.

"The possible opening of the border with Armenia and resumption of trade relations between the two states can push Yerevan to search for new ways to resolve the Karabakh conflict, he added. “With such perspective, Azerbaijan should not be too emotional about possible Armenian-Turkish reconciliation. Instead, Baku should support the Turkish policy vis-a-vis Armenia.”

But according to the Azeri president’s Foreign Policy Chief, Novrus Mammadov, a replacement of the OSCE Minsk Group members or Co-chairs is not on the agenda. "Although Azerbaijan is displeased with the activities of the Minsk Group, we support them patiently for now.”

"The OSCE Minsk Group is legally dealing with the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement process,” Mammadov said. "Nevertheless, Azerbaijan hails any initiative from the countries interested in resolution of the conflict.”

Mammadov described as “inconsistent” a recent statement by the American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Matthew Bryza, that the relations within the Minsk Group will be strained as a result of the Russian-Georgian conflict."Each of the Co-chairs presented his own interpretation of the situation."

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