Too Early for Karabakh Referendum, Says EU Envoy

Peter Semneby

BAKU (—“Any vote on the status of Nagorno Karabakh can occur only at the end of a long negotiation process. It is now necessary to agree on the principles of how this process should develop in order to create guarantees for all sides,” the European Union’s special envoy on the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, said in an interview with Interfax-Azerbaijan news agency.

He reiterated that the principles for conflict resolution had been expressed by the US, French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

“I think this is an excellent starting point for the resolution of the conflict and the EU calls on both parties (Azerbaijan and Armenia) to adhere to it,” Semneby said.

Talks to resolve the conflict appear to have stalled. In a straightforward statement after talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers earlier this month, the OSCE Minsk Group mediators said, “The efforts made so far by the parties toward the conflict have not been sufficient to overcome their differences.”

The mediators “urged a greater spirit of compromise to reach agreement on a common basis for continuing the negotiations”.

In his interview with Interfax-Azerbaijan, Semneby said normalizing Armenia-Turkey relations plays a role in the Karabakh conflict resolution process.

“There is no formal link between these processes. At the same time, we cannot reject that whatever happens in one of these processes affects the atmosphere of trust and this has to be taken into account,” he said.


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One Comment;

  1. Ed said:

    To say that “Talks to resolve the conflict appear to have stalled” is a gross understatement. Talks never progressed in the first place – meeting, disagreeing and parting is no progress. Armenia must be very careful not to engage in self-delusion and prepare to defend what is rightfully ours. History shows that agreements on paper not backed by troops on the ground never work – too many examples to cite. Wish for peace, be ready for war.