STEPANAKERT (Armenpress/ArmInfo)–Speaking from the capital of Mountainous Karabagh Republic on Wednesday–European Union (EU) special representative for the South Caucasus Heikki Talvitie said that in order to reach a peaceful settlement–the sides to the Karabagh conflict must establish an atmosphere of mutual trust.
"I have no illusions regarding a speedy regulation of the conflict–but the peace talks continue within the framework of OSCE Minsk group–and there is a hope that some possibilities for regulation will appear," Talvitie told a press conference–summing-up the results of his two-day visit to MKR.
He said that the EU is pushing for a peaceful regulation and is ready to support a political arrangement–considering the outcome will affect the stability of the region.
European structures–he stressed–have taken a new interest in the South Caucasus–and want to extend equal opportunities for their [each country’s] development.
Asked whether the EU plans to implement economic development programs in MKR–Talvitie said interest lies in developing the entire region–and the implementation of programs is directly dependent on the progress in regulating the conflict.
Talvitie noted MKR’s progress in various sectors–saying "[progress] meets the interests of the European Union and conflicting sides–because it speaks about stability in the region."
In an earlier meeting with Talvitie–Karabagh president Arkady Ghoukassian stressed that MKR has proposed to Azerbaijan–on more than one occasion–the need to implement joint measures–but that Baku has rejected the offers.
Ghoukassian said that the democratization of Karabagh’s public and political sectors is irreversible in nature. "Mountainous Karabagh aspires to become an integral part of the European family."
Talvitie also met with speaker of MKR parliament Oleg Yessayan–prime minister Anushavan Danielian–foreign minister Ashot Ghulian–defense minister Seiran Ohanian–National Security council secretary Karen Baburian and refugees residing in Shushi and Lachin. Talvitie and his delegation were to also meet with MKR Security Council secretary Karen Baburian