YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Victory for Azerbaijan in a renewed war for Nagorno-Karabakh is “impossible,” the French co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks said on Friday.
Speaking at the NATO-sponsored Rose Roth seminar in Yerevan on Friday, Bernard Fassier said: “Azerbaijan’s victory in the event of renewed war is impossible, because I know about the bravery of the Armenian and Karabakh warriors.”
Fassier said he believed a new war would not bring benefits to Azerbaijan and instead cause substantial harm to its financial interests and oil trade.
“International investors investing in the economy of Azerbaijan will not want to have their funds at risk and abandon investment,” he said, adding that any bellicose statements from Azerbaijan will be “dangerous for the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict.”
“The people must understand that the neighbors are doomed to live next to each other”, he added, stressing that the use of force and the launching of a new war are not possible solutions to the Karabakh conflict.
“All the warlike statements are not only useless but also dangerous for the peace process. We are talking about peaceful coexistence between two peoples, but such statements hamper this,” Fassier said.
The French co-chair also condemned the latest statement by Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev, who warned about the inevitability of a military solution to the Karabakh conflict and vowed to start a new “Great War in the South Caucasus”.
The French mediator recalled the announcements of the Azerbaijani authorities that the Minister’s statement is his personal opinion and he bores the direct responsibility for them.
“We believe that the more parties will refrain from such statements, the better for the process”, said Fassier.
When asked whether he thought there was a connection between the Karabakh conflict and Kosov, the French diplomat said the two had nothing in common.
“Therefore, the reoccurrence of the same scenario is impossible,” he said, referring to Kosovo’s recognition by the west. Karabakh’s independence has not yet been recognized.
“These situations are incomparable. For example, the Kosovo issue is a conflict inside one country, while the Karabakh conflict takes place inside one country and is simultaneously a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
Asked about Russia’s involvement in the negotiations process, Fassier said: “The mediators exchange information, including the most confidential and secret”.
“The mediators exchange information, including the most confidential and secret,” he added.
“All of Russia’s initiatives on Karabakh conflict settlement are completely coordinated with all the mediators of the OSCE Minsk Group, he said.
Russia, which serves alongside the US and France as a co-chair of the group, hosted a meeting in January between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan where the two leaders agreed on a preamble to a framework peace accord known as the Madrid Principles.
“They help us get out of a difficult situation”, said the mediator. “Russia understands that one of the sides cannot impose its position, and the solution must be sought together.”