The mediators of the OSCE Minsk Group supports the prompt involvement of Karabakh as a full-value side, in the talks on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, said Bernard Fassier, the French Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, on 17 January in Yerevan, Novosti Armenia reports.
"As soon as Karabakh is involved in the negotiation process as one of the negotiation sides, better it is. Especially, the position of the head of ' Nagorno-Karabakh Republic' testifies that it is fully aware of the negotiation process," Fassier said.
He stated that removal of 'NKR' from the talks was not decided by the co-chairs. "Before Robert Kocharyan's coming into the power, Karabakh was one of the negotiation sides, but after his election as the president of Armenia, it was decided that Armenia may better present the position of Karabakh," Fassier said.
Answering the question regarding the possibility of changing the format of the talks on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement after the presidential elections in Armenia, especially after Kocharyan not nominate for the third term, Fassier replied that this issue will not be decided by the co-chairs, but by the Armenian side.
The Co-chair stated that Khankendi's participation in the negotiation process is desirable, but the time will show how this issue will be decided because according to him, currently it is difficult to involve 'NKR' as a negotiableside in the negotiation process.
Speaking about the issue, whether Azerbaijan will protest against Karabakh's participation in the talks, Yuri Merzlyakov, the Russian Co-chair of the Minsk Group, said that yet mediators do not glance at this possibility so far and intend to resolve the problem gradually.
"At present, all the sides agree with the base principles on which we are working, so we do not consider it necessary to change the format of the talks at the current stage. However, while devising a closing agreement, 'NKR' will have to participate in the talks because all the key items of the agreement will directly deal with Karabakh," Merzlyakov said.
In addition, he stated that it does not mean that 'NKR' will be involved in the talks at the concluding stage because devising the concluding agreement will be more difficult and longer process. "I am not pessimistic in this process," the Co-chair said.