Envoy pledges EU support in resolving Karabakh issue

Envoy pledges EU support in resolving Karabakh issue

26 Mar 04


The European Union is ready to facilitate the Minsk Group process and
the efforts of Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the Nagornyy Karabakh
conflict, the special representative of the EU for the South Caucasus,
Heikki Talvitie, said in a news conference in Yerevan today.

According to the special representative, the OSCE Minsk Group is the
body that must help Armenia and Azerbaijan resolve this
issue. However, Heikki Talvitie said that he would personally try to
help and build an atmosphere of mutual confidence. As an example, he
cited his forthcoming visit to Abkhazia next Monday 29 March
. According to him, the settlement of the Abkhaz conflict is under the
jurisdiction of the UN, but he will try to contribute to building an
atmosphere of mutual trust.

Asked about the current situation in the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict in
view of the fact that Heikki Talvitie himself used to be a co-chairman
of the Minsk conference, the special representative said that
officially “the process is at the same point as it was 12 years ago”.

“However, a lot has changed from within. Now that we are trying to
resume the talks and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen are working hard
to find ways of resolving the conflict, the processes that unfolded
within affect the conflict. Therefore, positive and negative aspects
affect the possibility of resuming the talks, not the talks process
itself,” the special representative said.

As for the possibility of him visiting Nagornyy Karabakh, Heikki
Talvitie said he would certainly do that during his next visit if his
mandate is extended.

Speaking about the fact that the Azerbaijani side has effectively
disrupted the Prague meeting which was scheduled for 29 March, the
special representative said “one meeting, not the whole process, has
been postponed”.

Asked whether it was possible to conclude that the Azerbaijani side
was not prepared not only for one meeting, but also for the conflict
settlement in general, the EU’s special representative said he would
not like to make such far-reaching conclusions.
From: Baghdasarian