Nagorno-Karabakh conflict shouldn’t be considered insolvable – French ambassador

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 9 February 2015 11:47 (UTC +04:00)
It is important not to consider the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh as something that will last forever.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict shouldn’t be considered insolvable – French

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.9

By Anakhanim Hidayatova - Trend:

It is important not to consider the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh as something that will last forever, French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier told Trend.

"What is important is not to consider the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh as something that will last forever and something we can not deal with," he said.

The ambassador talked about the impact of the Ukrainian crisis on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"There is a saying in French: 'you don't need the reason of hope to be active'," he said. "My impression and the will of our government are not linking these two."

"If there is a conflict in Ukraine it doesn't mean we have to be completely inactive in Nagorno-Karabakh," said French ambassador.

He added that as soon the date is agreed with the parties, the co-chairs will come to the region. "There is a willingness to help and to maintain the dialog between the parties."

Mediation is neither a tribunal and nor a court, it is a way to use all the techniques available for the diplomats and experts in confident building in conflict resolution in post - crisis management, according to the diplomat.

He added that the co-chairs can not decide for the presidents in terms of what is acceptable for them, for the people of the region.

"Last year President Francois Hollande offered a meeting for Presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan in Paris, what was after the meeting is not what we expected to see," said Monnier. "We urge, by all means, both presidents, both countries to start a dialog and to avoid any measures which can harm this dialog."

Armenia is unlikely happy with the status-quo, according to the French ambassador.

"As we know, Armenia is occupying a lot of territories, 7 territories, and also controlling Nagorno-Karabakh," said the ambassador. "If we look at the economic situation of Armenia, we don't have an impression that Armenia is getting a lot from the situation."

"I think Armenia would get more if peace was there," Monnier said, adding that the work of co-chairs is to find a way that both presidents would be happy with.

"We know that there are three major principles of resolution: non-use of force, territorial integrity and self - determination," said the ambassador, adding that territorial integrity and self - determination sometimes are contradictory.

"If you don't believe in any progress you are not active," he said. "2015 is a very important year. Of course 2015 could appear more complicated to EU because of commemoration, because of Ukraine and ISIS, but it is not reason to be inactive, we will continue to be active."

Regarding the inclusion of Germany in the list of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, Monnier said that Germany as a government is supporting the Minsk Group co-chairs, as does all the European Union.

Earlier, the deputy chairman of the OSCE PA's committee on political affairs and security, the Azerbaijani MP, Azay Guliyev said he plans to raise the issue of increasing the number of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs from three countries - the US, Russia and France - to five, including Germany and Turkey.

Guliyev said he will raise the issue at the winter session of the OSCE PA,
to be held in Vienna.

Monnier believes the co-chairing group is the right body to find the peaceful, lasting solution to the conflict.

"I don't think that there is debate is Europe on this subject," he said.

"At the same time what I think is that any concrete support of any member states is welcomed that means that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh is something of concern for all the nations because it violates the stability in the region and it also prevents economic integration of the region," he said," adding that it is a negative impact on

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 US are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.