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On eve of OSCE Ministerial Council: profit may be made out of frozen conflicts

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Date: 2 December 2015 17:42

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 2

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:

Of course, the issue of the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia continuing for more than 20 years will be included in the agenda of the OSCE Ministerial Council, to be opened in Belgrade on December 3.

Alas, this has no special sense.

The permanent mediators - the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen can not solve this problem for many years.

Taking into account the new challenges and threats facing the world today, the problem is unlikely to be the main one at the meeting.

And here there is one of the main threats of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This frozen conflict can very quickly get out of control and turn into another war in the strategically important region without attention and hard work of the mediators.

The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen from Russia, US and France are well aware about this.

They have been carrying out the sluggish mediation activity for more than 20 years by providing an opportunity to the occupation forces and separatists to maintain the status quo suiting Armenia.

It is still unclear, what is the point of such a co-chairmanship, except perhaps to provide another international institute with work for several decades beforehand and to have a convenient lever of pressure on the conflicting sides when needed.

However, there is another aspect which should be considered in the context of absolute inaction of the OSCE Minsk Group – the role of co-chairs separately which will help boost the rating of a certain player in the case of necessity.

For example, recently Russia has become active in mediation in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and it is not the first time.

Earlier, during the press conference following the talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said that Russia has put forward proposals on settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

He added that the proposals were presented during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Azerbaijan.

“It was also proposed to hold a meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, and we have agreed,” said Mammadyarov. “We expect this meeting to be held soon.”

The ambiguity of the situation stems from the fact that earlier the OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairs said they themselves were preparing such a meeting.

However, the initiative to invite the heads of states back to discussions of a peace process around Nagorno-Karabakh suddenly shifted to the Russian side.

Naturally, any progress in the settlement of the conflict will allow Moscow to gain political dividends as a mediator.

And the Kremlin might be interested in this right now, as Moscow’s relations with Ankara have utterly deteriorated.

It should be noted that Turkey is a regional player that also has all the tools and the will to play an important role in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Transition of the peacemaking initiative to individual actors, fighting to change the focus in the region in their own benefits, seems to be more prospective rather than the OSCE’s long-lasting and futile meditation in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

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Elmira Tariverdiyeva, head of Trend’s Russian News Service

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