Sabine Freizer:

Sabine Freizer, the Istanbul-based director of the International Crisis Group's Europe Program, in an interview with Sunday's Zaman commented on the chances of any changes in co-chairs, saying it is unlikely that Turkey will get France replaced. "I don't believe that Turkey will get much support from the OSCE states when it tries to link the problems of the Minsk Group with the passage of legislation in France that penalizes persons denying the genocide," she said.

"Turkey needs to get the support of all 56 participating states -- or at least of the country that chairs the organization at that time. It will also need the support of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the other three
current co-chairing countries, the US, France and Russia," Freizer added.

The OSCE, the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization, works on the basis of consensus, so if Armenia, as a member of the OSCE, vetoes Turkey's co- chairmanship of the Minsk Group, Turkey cannot become the Mink Group's co-chair.

Freizer also stated that when the issue of replacing France as co-chair by another EU country was on the table, her team was in favor, saying that "the EU would be responsible for much of the technical [nation building] and financial support if there is ever a peace agreement." Hence, the expert thinks that any kind of change in the leadership of the Minsk Group will be difficult to pass.

Considering the Minsk Group format in many ways outdated, Freizer thinks that a serious discussion is needed on the value and effectiveness of the Minsk Group format.

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