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EU to intensify dialogue on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 26 May 2011 19:02

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 26 / Trend V.Zhavoronkova /

The European Union's increased involvement in settlement of the protracted conflicts, including the Nagorno-Karabakh, will be expressed in increasing the density of the talks, the Deputy Dean of the History Department of Moscow State University, Chief Editor of the Vestnik Kavkaza and Trend Expert Council member, Alexei Vlasov, said.

The EU's Renewed European Neighborhood Policy report reads that the European Union is ready to enhance EU involvement in solving protracted conflicts. The EU must be ready to step up its involvement in formats where it is not yet represented, such as the OSCE Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the report reads.

Vlasov believes no revolutionary changes will happen in the structure of the mediators involved in the conflict settlement.

"Following the example of Russia, there will be increased the density of the dialogue platforms, which will discuss the various aspects of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Vlasov told Trend.

As for the increasing the EU's involvement in the conflict resolution, the matter is, in fact, simply counter-EU initiatives to increase the dynamics of dialogue with participation of Baku and Yerevan, and the mediating countries, he said.

Moreover, Vlasov said, the EU initiative, above all, will be implemented through France, which is co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.

"Germany, for example, has own interests in participating in the settlement of problems in the South Caucasus, but they are not so pronounced and stretched in time," he said. "Germany is unlikely to abandon the chosen course of conduct."

France, he said, is more flexible and dynamic France in this matter, so it is her role in the Minsk Group, as one of the leading intermediaries, will grow in the near future.

Generally, Vlasov welcomed the new initiative in the conflict resolution.

"I am an optimist and I think that any mediation efforts are appropriate," he said.
However, Vlasov said, the final settlement of the conflict requires the parties' goodwill first of all.
Moreover, Vlasov said, Russia's participation in the settlement process may play a greater role in the future than the efforts of the European Union, as now, Baku and Yerevan are willing to accept Moscow as the chief mediator.

"However, but the EU's desire to play a more active, more productive role in resolving the protracted conflict, should not be ignored," he added.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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