NATO has no plans of interfering with OSCE Minsk Group, Simmons says

NATO has no plans of interfering with OSCE Minsk Group, Simmons says

24.02.2005 18:12

YEREVAN (YERKIR) – Speaking at a news conference in Yerevan on
Thursday, Robert Simmons, Special Advisor on Central Asia and the
Caucasus to NATO’s Secretary-General, said he was satisfied with his
meetings with the Armenian leadership.

When asked whether the NATO was planning to deploy peacekeepers to the
liberated territories of Karabakh, Simmons said: “The Nagorno Karabakh
conflict should be discussed and settled in the OSCE Minsk Group but
we are interested in a final settlement. We have no intention to get
involved with the issue.” Besides, he noted, deployment of
peacekeepers is only possible if both sides agree to it, and there is
no such agreement at this point.

Referring to the NATO’s stance to the relations between Armenia and
Russia, he indicated that NATO is for good relations between all
countries, and that his organization does not seek a competition in
this area. He also mentioned that NATO will continue to pay attention
to the South Caucasus, adding that “NATO’s doors are open” for the
countries which recognize “our values.”

Simmons also said that there is an ongoing cooperation between the
organization and Armenia, noting that a group of advisors will visit
Armenia next month to work with the Armenian Ministry of Defense. In
response to a reporter’s comment that NATO never expressed its
position over the murder of an Armenian military officer murdered by
an Azerbaijani colleague during a NATO-sponsored course in Hungary,
Simmons said that NATOhad offered its regret about the dire
incident. He, however, added that “today,we should look to the future
and discuss joint projects.”