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The Karabakh Peace Process
22 June 2012 Hard line positions make the work of Minsk Group more difficult. Senior officials in both Armenia and Azerbaijan have raised the stakes ahead of mediators visit to the region in July.

Senior officials in both Armenia and Azerbaijan have spoken about expectations from the visit of the Minsk Group diplomats to the region in July aimed at continuing efforts to seek resolution of the Karabakh conflict. However there is concern that increasingly more hard line positions simply make the work of the mediators more difficult.

In Baku, the Deputy Chairman of the govening New Azerbaijan Party said that Minsk Group co-chairs "visited our region plenty of times, but people considered them “tourist visits”. “We don’t prevent their visits to the region, but their visits don’t have any influence on the conflict solution. Under the significant influence we mean the solution of the conflict and the liberation of Azerbaijan’s occupied lands”.
 
APA quotes Ahmadov as saying that the first step to a solution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict is that the co-chairs must name the aggressor. “The liberation of Azerbaijani lands must be the main condition. If it’s not fulfilled, the steps made by the co-chairs toward the solution won’t have any results”.

In the meantime in Yerevan, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia, Shavarsh Kocharian, in an interview with news.am, accused Azerbaijan of being engaged in a publicity stunt using the talks as a cover. "Our goal is to expose the distorted facts promoted by Azerbaijan and present the true course of events. We are not worried about international law, it is on our side."

Kocharian said  "The truth is that the conflict broke out and turned into war due to Azerbaijan’s politics of power. It is not mere coincidence that the position voiced by Armenia is in harmony with those expressed by the co-chairing states and representatives of different international agencies. Azerbaijan’s actions and statements run counter to the steps offered by international institutions and mediators in order to create an atmosphere of confidence between peoples, which is a prerequisite for achieving a comprehensive peace agreement."

Commonspace.eu political editor says that continued hard line statements make the conditions in which the Minsk process is trying to achieve its objectives of a break through in the negotiations even more difficult. "As well as respect for the cease fire on the line of contact the sides should consider a moratorium on their propoganda war, because it is difficult to see how meaningful negotiations can succeed in this atmosphere."

source: commonspace.eu

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