ISTANBUL—The newly-elected OSCE Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier said on Tuesday that Turkey could play a role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process.
In an interview with the Turkish newspaper, Today’s Zaman, Zannier, an Italian diplomat who was voted as the new OSCE leader, said that Turkey’s involvement is not necessarily an official one. “I am not talking about a formal role in the negotiations, but in real terms. Turkey is bordering both countries involved in the conflict,” he reportedly told Zaman.
“I am stating a fact — it [progress] is not happening. Something is missing,” Zannier told Zaman.
Zannier emphasized the importance of dialogue in resolving conflicts said that “My very personal view is that Turkey needs to create conditions to promote dialogue on both sides.” He said the specifics of this involvement are “Turkey’s call.”
“There is a debate that we should move the issues somewhere else but I am not convinced that moving it elsewhere would solve the problem. There is nothing wrong with the organization dealing with the problem. The problem is the substance of the issue,” said Zannier of recent efforts by Azerbaijan to criticize the OSCE for its handling of the issue.
He said that while the OSCE is doing its best, it is up to the parties involved in the conflict to step up to the plate. Zannier stressed there must be political will on behalf of the parties to end the historic conflict.
“There is a lot of focus on the mechanism, but there is also an issue of whether the parties are ready to make a deal,” added Zannier.
“You can lead a horse to water but you cannot force the horse to drink it. We are trying to create the necessary conditions in the meantime. We are trying to manage the situation on the ground, but the situation becomes problematic in security terms,” he said. The next step, according to the OSCE secretary general, is ensuring the problem does not escalate further.
“[In general,] if we cannot line up all of the conditions and solve the conflict, then the next best thing we can do is manage the problem so it does not grow worse. So that is our next step. It is up to everyone to keep making efforts from different angles,” he stressed.