BAKU: Azerbaijan, Armenia hinder peace process – Russian mediator

Azerbaijan, Armenia hinder peace process – Russian mediator

Azad Azarbaycan TV, Baku
1 Apr 04

[Presenter] The Russian co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, Yuriy
Merzlyakov today [1 April] made a new statement about the current
state of the [Karabakh conflict] settlement process. Saying that the
Minsk Group has prepared new proposals and ideas, Merzlyakov said that
they had not been discussed through the fault of the conflicting
parties. He also said that it is not possible to produce a proposal
which would satisfy both parties.

[Correspondent] The OSCE Minsk Group is trying to decide a place and
date for the talks on the settlement of the Nagornyy Karabakh
conflict. However, no agreement has been reached with the parties so
far. This is what the Russian co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group,
Yuriy Merzlyakov, told ATV.

Commenting on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s statement that the
OSCE Minsk Group had not made concrete proposals, Merzlyakov said that
there were new ideas and proposals, but the co-chairmen could not
obtain the parties’ consent to meet and discuss them.

[Merzlyakov, by phone, with superimposed Azeri translation] It is
impossible to produce a proposal which will satisfy all the
parties. Therefore, the talks must continue. The Minsk Group has new
ideas and proposals; but unfortunately, we fail in our attempts to
organize a discussion of the proposals with the parties.

[Correspondent] As for other complaints about the Minsk Group’s
activities, Merzlyakov said that it was the fault of the parties, not
the Minsk Group, that consultations had not taken place.

[Merzlyakov] We have been working since January 2004 to have the
consultations held. But we cannot achieve this as either one or other
party insists that the date of a meeting should be changed. We first
received Armenia’s proposal to postpone the Prague meeting. Then the
other side came out against the meeting.

[Correspondent] Merzlyakov went on to add that one cannot say that the
peace process has reached a deadlock. We are optimists and hope that
we will be able to start consultations with the sides soon, end quote.

Kamran Hasanov, “Son Xabar”.