(Combined Sources)–The American co-chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group–Steven Mann–said that the participation of Karabagh in the negotiating process is up to the conflicting sides.
"The approach of the OSCE MG co-chairs is as follows: if the parties are for involving the Nagorno Karabagh in the talks–we will support this option," Mann said.
The American co-chair also commented on the more frequent ceasefire violations along the line of contact.
"The Personal Envoy of the OSCE chairman-in-office–Andrzej Kasprzyk informs us regularly about this issue," he said–adding that the conflicting parties often discuss how to maintain the ceasefire.
"The most optimal method should be agreed on in order to avoid war," said Mann. "The United States thinks that 2006 is a promising year for reaching a peace accord. However–it will not be possible to completely solve the conflict in 2006–because it needs many years."
"I think the parties will decrease the risk of war. I do not think anyone is interested in resuming the war," the US diplomat said. "However–the ceasefire violation does not sound good."
Mann also said that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs might hold their next meeting in April. He said that the Armenian and Azeri Foreign Ministers may also meet soon–"but the exact date of this meeting has not yet been set."
"We [the co-chairs] are analyzing the situation and specifying our next steps," Mann said.