Monday, September 17, 2007

Minsk Group hopes for Karabakh's role in the talks

Sep 16 2007

STEPANAKERT. Sept 16 (Interfax) - The co-chairmen of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Minsk Group for Nagorno Karabakh settlement said on Sunday that broader contacts were needed with the leaders of the breakway republic.

Representatives of Nagorno Karabakh must appear at the negotiating table one day - the sooner the better, France's Bernard Fassier, a Minsk Group co-chairman, told reporters after talks with Nagorno Karabakh's new President Bako Saakian in Stepanakert on Sunday.

This format existed previously, but Karabakh's return to the negotiating table does not depend on the mediators alone, he said.

Co-chairman Mathew Bryza of the United States said changing the format of the talks would be impossible to discuss now that new political seasons were beginning in Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Bryza said the discussion of the proposals, on the negotiating table already, must be continued.

Russian co-chairman Yury Merzlyakov said his impression of the new Karabakh president was good and that the mediators needed to discuss and assess what the talks had addressed.

Saakian told the press that the current format of the talks was not effective and that the mediators had been informed of that.

"We must thank Armenia for the efforts made, but think that if the settlement is to be carried through to the end, Nagorno Karabakh must necessarily participate in the talks," he said.

The co-chairmen are expected to return to Yerevan on Sunday. sd

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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