French Co-Chair Says Minsk Group Should Not be Criticized

French Co-chairmen of the Minsk Group Bernard Fassier

BAKU (Combined Sources)—Outgoing French Co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group said criticism of efforts by his group is unwarranted and that the group has created mechanisms for lasting peace.

“We have been working very effectively to enable the parties to discuss all issues both on presidential and ministerial levels,” said Bernard Fassier at news conference in the Azeri capital, where he kicked off his farewell tour of the region Sunday.

“At the end of 2007, we introduced the basic principles, further proposing their altered versions. Unfortunately hopes that existed before the resulting meeting in Kazan yielded no results. Settlement of such a conflict is a very complicated process. For instance, when I assumed the post no international community member could visit the surrounding area of Nagorno Karabakh, whereas presently it is already possible. 2 such missions have already been adopted (first in 2005, second in October, 2010),” added Fassier.

The French diplomat said mediating a resolution to the Karabakh conflict was a complicated process, with the parties often refusing to agree to mediators’ proposals.

Fassier said the redrafted Madrid Principles was a positive factor in the Karabakh peace talks, adding that visits by the co-chairmen’s to the region was a sign of progress.

Saying that a meeting in Kazan, Russia in June between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan didn’t yield the expected results, Fassier added that “we must be optimistic and hope for progress in the Karabakh talks.”

Fassier hinted that presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan would meet in early 2012 to continue talks.

In January, Fassier will be replaced by Jacques Faure.

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