TODAY.AZ / Politics

Sabina Freizer: "EU member-states recognize territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which does not mean, however, that they are against ensuring right of Nagorno Karabakh residents for definition of their future status"

10 July 2008 [11:59] - TODAY.AZ
Day.Az interview with Sabina Freizer, head of the program of the International Crisis Group on Europe.
- Do you think, EU is able today to settle Nagorno Karabakh conflict without participation of the United States and Russia?

- EU may play even greater role in search of ways for the resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Presently, EU is represented in the OSCE Minsk Group by France but EU special representative could fulfill observation functions, especially during direct talks of the parties. Special representation of the EU and European Commission can also work out special projects, aimed at maintenance of the atmosphere of trust inside and around Nagorno Karabakh conflict, like in the conflict area in Georgia. Yet, the possibility that EU will take the side of one of the parties is low.

- Which variant of the peaceful resolution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict does EU prefer-within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan or as an independent state?

- It is difficult for the EU member-states to play serious role in the resolution of the conflict, as they do not have a single coordinated opinion on whether Nagorno Karabakh should be part of Azerbaijan or it should be an independent state. On the whole, the EU states do not approve separatist movements and prefer to avoid alteration of borders.

The EU member-states recognize territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which does not mean that they are against ensuring the right of Nagorno Karabakh residents for definition of their future status.

- Do you think EU participation in the peaceful resolution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict is possible? Why don't Minsk Group co-chairs want the involvement of EU and UN to the process of the conflict resolution?

- OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs do not mind if EU played greater role in the resolution of the conflict. Ambassador Bernard Fassier regularly informs EU member-states about the achievements in the negotiation process. The role of the EU special representation is gradually growing. Though, frankly speaking, I doubt that most EU member-states want to take an active part in the said process and replace OSCE Minsk Group. They are satisfied with the current format of talks. Expansion of the UN role in the resolution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict is possible but existence of two parallel mediators or two parallel negotiation processes will not help the solution.

- Almost all principles in the draft framework agreement on the resolution of the Karabakh conflict have been coordinated, said US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Matthew Bryza. Which principles have not been coordinated yet?

- I am sure that main principles, developed by the OSCE MG in cooperation with the conflict parties is the best way for advancement.

Azerbaijan has done everything possible for inclusion of paragraphs about release of seven occupied regions and return of all internally displaced persons to their houses, including in Nagorno Karabakh, to the basic principles of the framework agreement.

The main differences are related to the possible status of Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia insists on inclusion of the possible independence of Nagorno Karabakh into the basic principles, which Azerbaijan is against is.

I think that definition of the status of Nagorno Karabakh should be put off until the time, when mutual trust between  Azerbaijanis and Armenians is restored.

/Day.Az/

URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/46314.html

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