BAKU: Time To Remove France As Karabakh Mediator – Erdogan

TIME TO REMOVE FRANCE AS KARABAKH MEDIATOR – ERDOGAN

News.Az
Mon 13 February 2012 06:56 GMT | 6:56 Local Time

The Turkish prime minister has said that France should be removed as
a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.

The group is the international body mediating a settlement to the
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Nicolas Sarkozy has openly shown his support for the Armenian
position. Therefore, France should be removed from the Minsk Group
now,” Erdogan said in an interview with Azerbaijan’s ANS TV, Gun.Az
reported.

His comments follow the French Senate’s vote to criminalize the denial
of genocide, including the denial of Armenian claims of genocide in
1915 in Ottoman Turkey.

Through the resolution France “proved its biased position in the
Nagorno-Karabakh issue and thereby lost its credibility”, Erdogan said.

He thought that USA and Russia could cope with the mediating role if
France leaves the Minsk Group.

“Of course, a decision should be reached in this protracted conflict
with the intervention of the UN Security Council. We believe that
if the US and Russia agree, a third country can be chosen. No one
has the right to cause so much agony for Azerbaijan. Nakhchivan,
Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh remain apart from each other. They are
all waiting for the resolution. And this resolution does not exist. We
hope that the resolution will be achieved and the conflict will end.”

The prime minister said that Turkey’s Azerbaijani brothers both
in France and Azerbaijan were doing their utmost to oppose what he
described as the “fabricated genocide” issue.

“Turkey and Azerbaijan should continue their unity and support not
just on this but on all issues and take no backward steps.”

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