BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 29. The French Foreign Ministry, in its recent statement, called Brice Roquefeuil its French Ambassador for EU Eastern Partnership and not OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair as he was appointed previously.
This was another step taken by the international community, reflecting the acceptance of new realities created in the region after the end of the Second Karabakh War. It also means that France, which previously co-chaired OSCE MG, recognizes the failure of this structure as a means to resolve the conflict that used to be ongoing between Armenia and Azerbaijan for almost 30 years.
France also knows that the OSCE Minsk Group was ineffective in solving the Karabakh conflict, Turkish expert on international relations and political analyst Goktug Chalishkan told Trend.
He noted that the OSCE Minsk Group was a structure created to resolve the Karabakh conflict, but during the Second Karabakh War, it almost did not function and was left in the background by all segments.
"The involvement of Russia and Turkey in reaching a ceasefire agreement that put an end to the Second Karabakh War had a more significant impact on the process. Therefore, Brice Roquefeuil, the French Co-Chair of OSCE Minsk Group, was appointed as the French Ambassador to the EU Eastern Partnership and was sent to the region in this position. Because France also knows that the OSCE Minsk Group was ineffective in solving the Karabakh conflict," Chalishkan said.
According to experts, at this point, France wants to take its role in the process of signing a peace agreement and trying to fix this within the framework of the EU's Eastern Partnership, not the failed OSCE Minsk Group.
"It also means that France has recognized fact, Karabakh conflict has been resolved and there was no need for OSCE Minsk Group," Chalishkan noted.
In turn, national security analyst and expert from the US Irina Tsukerman said that the new title of Brice Roquefeuil’s post reflects the changes that were made by Russia and the US after the last visit to the region by Andrew Schofer (recently appointed US State Department's Senior Adviser on Caucasus Negotiations).
"All three countries participating in OSCE Minsk Group have made these changes which indicate that MG has lost its significance for them. This is also a signal that the OSCE Minsk Group does not play a significant role in current events. Each of these countries interacts with Azerbaijan on an individual basis," Tsukerman said.
According to her, de facto the OSCE Minsk Group has had a minimal role for quite a long time. This is due to the fact that it did not have a significant impact on the situation during the Second Karabakh War and did not play a leading role in the diplomatic denouement that followed the tripartite agreement, she added.