OSCE Chairman Says Peace Process Needs Changes

BRUSSELS (Combined Sources)–The OSCE Chairman in Office, Spanish foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said Tuesday that the current peace process for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict needed to change in order for achieve progress.
“I met with the Azeri and Armenian foreign ministers yesterday. We had some discussions regarding the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The negotiation process needs some changes in order to make progress,” remarked Moratinos.
“The OSCE is interested in the resolution of the Karabakh conflict,” added Moratinos, reminding that he met with the Azeri and Armenian presidents and expressed disappointment over the failure to reach an agreement in St. Petersburg.
The visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs to the region appeared to be the only result of the meeting between the mediators and Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian held in Brussels on September 4.
International mediators will visit Armenia and Azerbaijan early next week in yet another attempt to salvage the Nagorno Karabakh peace process
“We simply talked about how the existing disagreemen’s can be overcome,” Oskanian told RFE/RL. “But there are no concrete agreemen’s. The only hope is that during their visit to the region the mediators will reach some agreemen’s with the leaders [of Armenia and Azerbaijan.]”
When asked whether it means that Azerbaijan is toughening its stance, Oskanian said, “I do not want to make any assessmen’s. Anyway, after the Saint Petersburg presidential meeting Azerbaijan had time to think over its positions. The fact that the meeting with the Azeri Foreign Minister revealed nothing new can also show the line of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement process.”
Oskanian did not rule out that the upcoming presidential elections in Armenia and Azerbaijan would influence the process.
“Undoubtedly, the presidential elections will have an impact on the Karabakh conflict settlement process. However, if there is an opportunity we should take it,” he said.
Oskanian added that further progress in the peace process hinges on unspecified “courageous steps by Azerbaijan towards compromise.” The Azerbaijani side has taken no such steps since the Saint Petersburg summit, he added.
In Azerbaijan, Azeri president Ilham Aliyev, citing a “threat from Armenia’s” and the “occupation of Azeri territories” said the Azeri military budget should reach $1 billion.


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