French co-Chair of the OSCE MG: "Co-Chairs are not mandated to coercively impose a solution on the parties"
- 08 November 2019
"The OSCE's operative mechanism for dealing with the subject of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is unique," OSCE Minsk Group co-chair of France Stephane Visconti said during a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on November 7 that the co-chairs discussed the report on the settlement of the Nagorno Garabagh conflict.
The French co-chair said that crucial monitorings conducted by OSCE Personal Representative of OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk and his team sustainable develop Minsk Group's activity: "This format is an appropriate mechanism for conflict resolution. Like you, I regularly hear criticism from outside the organization that the conflict has lasted for more than 25 years, and sometimes the co-chairs cannot solve the crisis. Some radicals require the process to start from scratch, and some offer new approaches. I can honestly say that the suggestions made are unrealistic. Impatience is understandable. However, it should be understood that the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group can act only in accordance with the mandate of the mediator. Co-chairs make proposals, help, and sometimes inspire parties with great courage. However, Co-Chairs are note mandated to coercively impose a solution on the parties. We have to be aware that this difficult task is being done by our small team. As a result of our cautious but repetitive efforts, we contribute to the process by offering creative approaches to negotiation behind closed doors, as well as stabilizing the situation and saving lives. Efforts to persuade the parties to the peace and the privileges it seeks are implemented through regular dialogue."
Mr Visconti noted that the situation in the region is stable in recent days: "This is an indisputable fact. After a meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Dushanbe in September 2018, this positive situation emerged. The leaders of both countries should be respected and responsible. Dialogue on the political front has never been stopped, and it has recently become more and more reliable. In this regard, I would like to recall the momentum given in the negotiations between the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan in Ashgabat."
The co-chair stressed that the French government believes in the importance of the official commitment of the parties to prepare the people for peace: "This concept, first introduced in Milan, during our meeting with Foreign Ministers Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov on January 16 in Paris, gave a decisive impetus to this concept. This has long been a prerequisite for progress towards the settlement of the ongoing conflict. Without the support of the nations that are ready for peace, without the removal of negative stereotypes, without encouraging mutual respect, and without reconciling individual relationships between affected families and citizens. France also believes that women in the region should be encouraged to engage in dialogue without hesitation. Recently, during meetings with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan, we discussed the importance of increasing the role of women in this issue. Both sides welcomed this idea."
S. Visconti noted that the French government remains committed to the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross: "Gathering information on missing persons, in particular, is welcome. This is an initiative approved by the highest authorities on both sides at the December 2015 Paris Summit. Many families hope to get information about their loved ones, no matter where they are. This humanitarian action has been successfully implemented in several conflicts. The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, confirmed that his team is ready for it. They need active support from relevant parties. I would like to conclude that France is committed to its continued efforts to find a fair and balanced solution for the stability and prosperity of the peoples of the region. The status quo is not for anyone's interest. We will do our best to move in this direction."