Matthew Bryza suggests excluding OSCE Minsk Group from Karabakh peac

Matthew Bryza suggests excluding OSCE Minsk Group from Karabakh peace process

by Marianna Lazarian
Saturday, January 31, 21:49

The situation around the Karabakh peace process may change only if the
USA and the EU countries, including France, take more active steps in
this matter, Matthew Bryza, former US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk
Group, ex- Ambassador of the United States to Azerbaijan, says in an
interview with Trend.

He thinks that the countries of the Transatlantic community should
make the Karabakh peace process their key priority. They should
discuss this issue with Russia and explain to that country that if
Russia seeks to have good relations with the EU and the United States,
it should contribute to a breakthrough in the conflict settlement
process. Bryza points out that at the moment the West cannot fully
focus on the Karabakh process due to the situation around Russia and

In the meantime, Bryza does not share the criticism against the OSCE
Minsk Group. He is convinced that the Minsk Group has framed the
negotiations jointly with the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia. He
says that in 2008 an agreement was reached on the basis of Madrid
Principles, which imply a compromise and enable Azerbaijan to restore
its “territorial integrity”.

The diplomat believes that neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan enjoys
enough political support from the Western countries, including the
United States, to explain to their people the need to perform the
arrangements reached.

When commenting on the media reports about possible changes in the
OSCE Minsk Group format, he says that involvement of Turkey and
Germany in the Minsk Group is impossible.

He thinks that Armenia will never accept Turkey as a mediator in the
Karabakh peace process. This may be possible in case of normalization
of the Turkish-Armenian relations, but Azerbaijan is not OK with that.
Azerbaijan will do its best to prevent Turkey from opening the border,
Bryza says.

Bryza believes that Germany cannot make any tangible contribution to
the peace process either. In addition, he is sure that the EU’s
involvement in the peace process would be much more efficient, as it
is a partner of both the U.S. and Russia.

According to Bryza, it would be much useful to exclude the OSCE Minsk
Group from the negotiation process, giving the presidents of Armenia
and Azerbaijan an opportunity to talk without mediators.

Bryza thinks the parties no longer need moderators, as they can just
appoint special envoys that would organize their meetings. It is, at
least, illogical, he says, that the OSCE MG comprises Russia – a
country that does not seek to resolve the conflict. The diplomat
believes it important for the two presidents to speak face-to-face. It
is too easy to blame the international mediators of the failures, but
they decide nothing, they just try to pave the way towards a solution
to the conflict.


From: A. Papazian

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