YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Former Russian Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group–which mediates the Karabagh conflict settlement–Vladimir Kazimirov said that he considers the participation of the Mountainous Karabagh Republic’s (MKR) delegation essential to the success of peace talks.
According to Kazimirov who co-chaired the Minsk Group from 1992-1996–the exclusion of MKR’s delegation from the negotiation process started immediately after the OSCE summit in Budapest in December 1994. He said the exclusion of MKR was initiated by Azerbaijan.
"Official Baku said that if Karabagh is engaged in the talks–it should be represented by the Azeri community headed by Nizami Bahmanov as well," said Kazimirov.
This offer was rejected both by the Armenian side and the mediators.
"Then Baku insisted on the exclusion of the Armenian delegation of Karabagh. Nevertheless I consider that the participation of the MKR representatives is essential," Kazimirov underlined.
As for the current stage of negotiations–Kazimirov stated that the responsibility of resolving the conflict should be shared by the Foreign Ministers and Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. He said that NGO’s should also engage in the process.