STEPANAKERT–The OSCE the Personal Representative of the OSCE chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk called for an end to threats of war and said that authorities in Stepanakert have always been kept apprised of every step of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.
“First of all, it’s necessary to decrease the threat of war,” Kasprzyk said in an interview with the Polish “Nowa Europa Wschodnia” (New Eastern Europe), commenting on the situation in the Karabakh conflict zone. Having participated in the peace talks for ten years, Kasprzyk says the parties are closer to solving the issue today.
Before signing the final treaty, there is the question of the interim status of Nagorno-Karabakh. The special status cannot considerably differ from the current status of Nagorno Karabakh, he said.
Speaking about concessions, Kasprzyk said after the signing of a framework agreement it will be necessary to negotiate the details.
“There are still a number of unsolved issues. For, example, when we are speaking about the corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno Karabakh, it’s clear that it should remain. Azerbaijan officially agrees to this. However, it’s necessary to come to an agreement on the details, i.e. the width of the corridor or who should control it before the peace deal is concluded,” he explained.
Kasprzyk explained that a referendum is another problem saying, “Armenians see it as a simple voting with the participation of the population of Nagorno Karabakh as it was during the census of 1989. Baku insists, in turn, that it should be held all over the territory of Azerbaijan.”
“The Karabakh conflict is not frozen. What is frozen is its settlement. According to my assessment, 36 people have died on both sides over the past year. I interfered in the situation several times, when the exchange of fire could grow into large-scale confrontation. Then I called Washington, Paris and Moscow to try to stop it together,” added Kasprzyk.
Speaking about the role of Moscow, Kasprzyk said Russia aims to relieve the tension. “The whole Caucasus is mined today, the outburst of the Karabakh conflict would further destabilize the situation in the North Caucasus, he noted.
“Russians are doing business in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Thus they are trying to escape the hostility of any of the countries. The black-and-white idea that Russia supports Armenians, while Turkey backs Azerbaijan is too primitive,” the diplomat stated.
According to Kasprzyk, nothing is being done without the consent of Stepanakert. “They are always well-informed, their position is being taken into consideration. When it comes to concrete results, they should be accepted by Karabakh.”
Co-Chairs Urge Sides to Intensify Talks
The co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict urged the sides to intensify efforts to resolve the conflict, after monitoring the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic-Azerbaijan border Wednesday.
The process around Nagorno- Karabakh has intensified and one can expect quick results, the Russian Co-Chair Igor Popov told journalists at the Karabakh-Azeri border.
The US co-chairman, Robert Bradtke reiterated that the Minsk Group wants a peaceful resolution to the conflict, adding that the co-chairs saw the need for more frequent meetings between sides to the conflict.
Meanwhile, the French Co-Chair, Bernard Fassier said in order to achieve a resolution the sides must intensify the negotiations.
The OSCE mission conducted a scheduled monitoring of the Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijani border, in the Akna-Barda direction after holding talks in Baku.
From the positions of the Karabakh Defense Army, the monitoring was conducted by Field Assistants of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Antal Herdich (Hungary) and Christo Christov (Bulgaria).
From the opposite side, the monitoring was held by Coordinator of the OSCE Office Imre Palatinus (Hungary) and Field Assistant of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Marius Puodziunas (Lithuania).
After the monitoring mission concluded its work, the co-chairmen crossed the border into the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic where they were greeted by representatives of the Karabakh foreign and defense ministries.