Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 16
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
No one sees the OSCE Minsk Group any longer as the right structure or framework for solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Berlin European Institute Chairman Matthias Dornfeldt told Trend Sept. 16.
"But if you give them the last chance it is necessary to change the structure. And France should be replaced by the EU, by special representative and furthermore Turkey is an active player in the region and should be involved in this structure more actively," he said.
Dornfeldt believes that Russia, the U.S. and France are not the right parties to negotiate the conflict.
He said that it is needed to have a broader approach, to incorporate Turkey and the EU especially now after Federica Mogherini has become the new EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Dornfeldt said not only the OSCE should be seen as the main instrument, adding, "I would also see that we should give other local structures and even other local players more influence to accelerate the process of solving the conflict in Karabakh."
"What I want to say is that we need strong commitment, we need strong pressure on Armenia to make concessions."
He went on to add that Russia is facing sanctions because of Ukraine, while Armenia, a country continuing to violate international law, is not being punished for its occupation policy, and that is clearly a double standard.
"We see very clear double standards in Western policy; I mean first the European Union and the failed Eastern Partnership. On the other hand, is the geo-strategic interest of the U.S., which is shown by their policy towards Ukraine. I think we should not forget that the Armenian occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories is against international law, against the resolutions of the UN," he said.
Dontfild believes that the EU must develop common and comprehensive policy towards not only the region, but also towards Azerbaijan.
"We have a lot of people suffering; we have more than one million people of Azerbaijani origin who were forced to leave their homes. We have a lot of cities destroyed like Shusha, which in my opinion belongs to the world's heritage. It is now the time to solve the conflict, to bring stability to the region," he stressed.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding 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.
Edited by CN