Georgia can play a mediating role between Azerbaijan and Armenia on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Special Representative of NATO Secretary General in the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai said today.
"Georgia can play a helping role to Armenia and Azerbaijan in their pursuit to solve their problems," he said at the meeting with the Georgian parliamentary delegation at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia 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 Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
"NATO welcomes reforms in Georgia," he said. "I have very positive impressions and we remain true friends of Georgia. The reforms are being carried out in the right directions in Georgia today and are based on processes in Georgia. The Georgian Justice Minister has been here recently. She made a good impression and provided complete information on reforms of the justice system. We think that your country must conduct judicial reform."
He stressed that while carrying out the reforms, the rule of law must be observed. All actions must be transparent. NATO also welcomes the changes that have been recently made in co-habitation (the co-existence of two parties).
"The elections held in Georgia on October 1, 2012 were a step forward in the democratic development of the country," he said. "There were and will be changes. Georgia will remain a reliable partner which firmly strives for NATO membership. It can make a major contribution to regional security and play a role which could greatly help Armenia and Azerbaijan resolve their problems."/Trend/