Azerbaijan, Baku 2 February /corr. Trend K.Ramazanova / The European Union should be represented in the talks on peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said the Director of European Programs of the International Crisis Group, Sabina Frazier.
The EU special representative for the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, who does not have a seat at the table, should be an observer in the negotiations, mentioned in Frazier's report published on the official web-site of International Crisis Group.
The conflict between the two countries of South Caucasus began in 1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding Districts. Since 1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
"The international community must impress on Armenia and Azerbaijan the need for progress in peace talks and stop ignoring the conflict in its aid packages," Frazier said in her report.
She said that securing an agreement, even one that notes remaining differences, before the polls, would be a hugely important step. "It would keep the process alive and provide a place-holder from which the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan could resume talks after the 2008 elections," Frazier said.
The presidential elections in Armenia will take place on 19 February and in Azerbaijan in October.