BAKU: Nagorno-Karabakh Talks Constructive: OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-Cha


Trend News Agency
Aug 1 2008

Russia, Moscow, 1 August /Trend News corr. R.Agayev/ OSCE Minsk Group’s
co-chairs believe negotiations on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict which took place between Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign
Ministers in Moscow on 1 August were constructive.

"We go forward and do our utmost. Now I cannot say whether it is a
progress or not, but the negotiations are constructive and it is a
very important advancement," U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group
said at a briefing on 1 August.

"I can only cite the words of the foreign ministers. They said the
meeting was constructive. We, co-chairs, think both ministers were
satisfied with the results of the meeting," OSCE Minsk Group’s Russian
co-chair Yuri Merzlyakov said.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and his Armenian
counterpart Edward Nalbandyan met in Moscow on 1 August to discuss
basic principles of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict settlement.

According to Merzlyakov, the press differently treats the Minsk
Group. "One cannot say we are inactive, since that was the third
meeting of the ministers within recent three months. The Presidents
also met, we paid a visit to the region. One could not be more active,"
he said.

"I think the quantity will be transformed into quality. That will
happen. But it is most difficult to foretell the time, so we will not,"
said Merzlyakov.

Minsk Group’s French co-chair Bernard Fassier said intensity of
the work is confirmed by the fact that ministers are holding the
discussions on the basis of Minsk Group’s last-year proposals made
in Madrid.

Matthew Bryza said the mood is constructive and that means the sides
are approaching to peace. "A compromise is possible, should the sides
show the political will. The two countries’ ministers and Presidents
normally treat each other and the negotiations are underway," he said.

The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began
in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since
1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including
the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In
1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which
time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk
Group (Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful