OSCE Co-Chairs Intend To Attach The UN Supreme Commissar On Cause Of


9 Feb 05

After the OSCE monitoring group accomplished its mission in Nagorno
Karabakh, Yuri Merzlyakov, an OSCE co-chair, stated at a Stepanakert
meeting with refugees from all over Karabakh: “The task of OSCE
co-chairs is to support the negotiation process. We cannot solve it
instead of the conflicting sides as every suggestion by the co-chairs
uncoordinated with the sides will be turned down by one of the side
as it was in the past. We do everything to bring positions closer and
to somehow break the silence to start the talks. For that reason it
is unbecoming to expect that the co-chairs will find a magic solution
mutually acceptable for both sides. There is no such solution as all
the variants have already been considered. What we can do now is to
pick up elements and adjust them in a way that will bring solution
to at least few aspects of the issue, if it is impossible to give a
final and overall solution to it. Solution that will grant the two
peoples if not to reconcile then to trust and not to see evil in each
otherâ~@~Ys steps the least”.

The issue of refugees was commented by Merzlyakov as integral part
of the conflictâ~@~Ys future settlement. He was suspicious over the
possibility of returning to the former settlements. “I cannot imagine a
situation if, say, Azeris call Armenians to return to Shahumian. Would
you go if they invite?”, he asked the audience.

“There must be proper conditions for people to return. It must be
certain where they are returning to. As far as there are no such
conditions, I think all the calls are simply a propaganda or a
self-deceit or they are lying to others”, the Russian co-chair stated.

The Minsk group co-chairs decided to turn to the UN Supreme Commissar
on Cause of Refugees as the issue is under his jurisdiction. “The
sides should apply to the Department of UN Supreme Commissar on
Cause of Refugees having agreed on the circle of issues and on the
conditions of support”, he said.

Bernard Fassie, the French co-chair, agreed with such a decision
noting that he still sees no solution the refugee issue.

Emphasizing the neutral stance of Minsk group co-chairmanship, Yuri
Merzlyakov said that it is unfair to condemn them of not showing
sympathy to one of the sides and of hiding emotions. They are not
judges and cannot say who is right and who is wrong. The Russian
diplomat confessed that he has a great desire to quit the work after
each such meeting. “But the Bible verse saying â~@~XBlessed are the
peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of Godâ~@~Y holds me back
from a final decision” Merzlyakov said.

Speaking of the present stage of the talks, Merzlyakov said that the
most important is that there is a talk process and it continues. He
expressed hope the resuming Prague process will work out concrete
agreements on separate issues and they will be filed in one document.

By Kim Gabrielian