Azerbaijan urges Turkey to co-preside in the OSCE Minsk Group

In all probability Baku and Ankara are eager to billet international peacekeeping troops in the region of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and change of format is exactly what they need.

Visit of the Turkish President to Yerevan once again revived the problem of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict regulation. Azerbaijan's enthusiasm to promote Turkey's co-presidency in the OSCE Minsk Group over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict regulation is not new to us, especially when Turkey together with France, USA, and Russia (co-chairs), as well as with Belarus, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, Sweden and Finland is a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, established in 1992 with the aim of the conflict settlement.
PanARMENIAN.Net - However, the Minsk Regulation claims that parties interested or occupying a one-sided position in the conflict are not eligible for co-presidency. That is, Turkey, which backs up Azerbaijan, cannot be elected a co-chair, and Baku and Ankara can't but know about it. But a complete change of format is quite another matter. There are lots of examples - Russia agreed to allow European peacekeeping troops in the region of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. In all probability Baku and Ankara are eager to billet international peacekeeping troops in the region of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and change of format is exactly what they need. However, a question arises - who will Turkey substitute: Russia, USA or France? The question is in no way rhetorical, since presently it is only France that occupies a more or less balanced position, which is not true about the USA and Russia.

"Armenia will hardly trust Turkey, a pro-Azeri country, as a mediator in the process of regulation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Besides, being a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and eager to maintain the present format, Russia will hardly allow mediation of Turkey," declared Svante Cornell, Research Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Co-founder of Stockholm Institue for Security and Development.

Like France, the USA will hardly renounce its participation in the conflict settlement. Quite possibly it will be proved that these hypotheses were provoked by well-known Azeri political scientist Vafa Guluzade. "The USA has already announced about its leaving the OSCE Minsk Group in order not to appear in the same structure with Russia. And it is quite explicable. After the undisguised military aggression of Russia against Georgia the relations between the Kremlin and the White House have been extremely chilled. Besides, the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group has long changed into an object of ridicule and no longer does it enjoy confidence. That is why the talks on suspending the OSCE Minsk Group activity are becoming more and more frequent," declared Guluzade, an Azeri political scientist, who always gives the desired for a fact.

"The OSCE Minsk Group has failed to produce effect during 17 years of its existence," declared President of Turkey Abdullah Gul. The Turkey-Armenia and Azerbaijan-Armenia issues are not only bilateral but also territorial, according to him. "The situation has considerably changed in the region. Peace in the Caucasus and regulation of conflicts between the countries will lead to both political and economic stability," Gul said. It should be noted that previously the Turkish President had declared about his willingness to serve as a mediator between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. In his words Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has given consent to arrange the meeting. At the same time the Turkish Leader expressed hope that he would receive the approval of the Azerbaijani President too. "I will meet him soon to discuss the details and will brief on the outcomes of my visit to Armenia," he said. Meanwhile Turkish experts do not exclude the possibility of a meeting between the Presidents of Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan with the aim to discuss the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement.

Judging by the interview that Gul gave after his visit to Yerevan the major topic of the meeting had been the problem of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. "Serzh Sargsyan declared about Aemania's willingness to regulate the regional problems and expressed pleasure towards our participation in the process. He announced his country's support of the Caucasian platform of stability and cooperation and said that they observe in it a possibility of conflict regulation in the region, at the same time realizing the necessity of a broad participation in the dialogue after the Georgian events. Serzh Sargsyan noted that he had often met the Aliyevs and intended to continue the regular meetings with him," the Turkish President informed.

Meanwhile, according to Mikhail Alexandrov, Head of the Caucasus Department at the Institute of CIS Studies, it is essential for Armenia to restore relations with Turkey and open a regular passage for the delivery of goods. "Russia welcomes the meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Turkey. «Russian Railways» (RZD), which has gained concession over the Armenian Railway for 30 years, is interested in restoration of Kars-Gyumri line and opening of the Armenian-Turkish border," Alexandrov said. "Unfortunately, two major questions still remain unsettled. Turkey urges Armenia to give up its policy of calling for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and to withdraw its forces from 7 regions surrounding Nagorno Karabakh. I think there is a mutually acceptable variant: Armenia doesn't renounce the Genocide recognition but stops the worldwide recognition campaign. For its part, Turkey doesn't insist on the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia has to choose between economic blockade and Genocide recognition," the Russian expert believes.
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