We hope sincerely that the agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement will be signed in 2006, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairman from Russia Yuri Merzlyakov said in a statement on 17 December at the news conference in Baku, Trend reports.
В"The co-chairs are only mediators and the major role in the negotiation process remains for Armenia and Azerbaijan. вЂњThe negotiation sides themselves are to be addressed more specific issues of the negotiation process toвЂќ, Merzlyakov was quoted as saying, urging the sides to be more reserved in their utterances. According to him, it would be easier for the co-chairs to take measures, вЂњunless the sides come out with militant statements and the cease-fire regime would be kept вЂњ. As he says, such statements serve partly to the вЂњinternal political goalsвЂќ.
В"There is a ground for enthusiasm for the co-chairs and we think, the specific base for signing the final agreement will be set up in 2006вЂќ, the Russian co-chair noted, saying arrival of the OSCE 6 high level serviceman who have not been to Azerbaijan since 1998, also give grounds for вЂњcertain optimistic conclusionsвЂќ.
As for the involvement of the representatives of the Nagorny Karabakh Armenian community in the negotiation process Merzlykaov noted, вЂњthe move will be real only after coordinating the principles of the conflict settlement by the sidesвЂќ.
The US co-chair Steven Mann noted, neither of parties can вЂњreceive all they wantвЂќ, saying, the OSCE Minsk Group welcomes вЂњadvancement towards lessening of differences in the position of the sidesвЂќ. В"It is possible, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be settled during one year, or during one hundred yearsвЂќ, Mann said, noting the US financial support to Nagorny Karabakh is вЂњminimal and bears the humanitarian characterвЂќ.
The OSCE Minsk group co-chair from France Bernard Facie called вЂњnonsenseвЂќ statements of municipality heads of any cities in France on the partnership with the residential settlements of Nagorny Karabakh. В"There are 38,000 municipalities and none of them is entitled to make political statements. Such statements are mere rubbishвЂќ, the French co-chairman said in conclusion.