Mar 23, 2006

Abkhazia: EU Can Play Mediator Role in Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Yesterday International Crisis Groups (ICG) report on The EUs role in conflict resolution in the South Caucasus prepared on account of the EU grant was represented in Brussels
Yesterday International Crisis Group’s (ICG) report on “The EU’s role in conflict resolution in the South Caucasus” prepared on account of the EU grant was represented in Brussels. Crisis Group’s Caucasus Project Director, Sabine Freizer, the EU special representative on South Caucasus, Peter Semneby and International Alert Organization representative addressed the meeting.

ISG representative in Baku, Vugar Gojayev told APA that about 35-page report investigated participation of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in the European Neighbourhood Policy and EU’s activity in these states and included about 30 proposals. Recommendations are targeted to both EU and South Caucasus countries. The EU’s efforts to address tensions over Nagorno-Garabagh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia and points out how the EU can do more for Nagorno-Garabagh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflicts.

The report reads that delay is observed in Azerbaijan in connection with working out of the action plan.

“NGOs have actively taken part in development of the action plan, even the NGOs have worked out an alternative plan, 9 NGOs have been involved in this process in Armenia. NGOs’ not joining this process in Azerbaijan causes concern”. Touching on Garabagh conflict, the ICG thinks that firstly, Armenian Armed Forces should be withdrawn from the occupied lands, IDPs should return to their home. The final status of Nagorno-Garabagh should be determined through a referendum. The report reads that the EU did little for settlement of the Nagorno Garabagh conflict and its activity was weak in this process, only ambassador Heiki Talvitie paid some visits to the region. ICG thinks that the OSCE have not produced comprehensive peace agreements and the EU may eliminate this gap. ICG thinks that Peter Semneby can closely take part in talk process within the OSCE MG and the EU can play an honest mediator role in the negotiations. One of the recommendations is that the EU should send fact finding mission to the occupied territories. ICG thinks that the EU should carry out the initial assessment, work out strategy of rehabilitation works and determine the contingency on deployment of the peacekeepers in the region. The ICG analysed the EU assistance to the South Caucasus and concluded that Azerbaijan is the greatest trade partner of the EU in South Caucasus.

Source: APA