Trend News Agency, Azerbaijan
Feb 2 2008


International Crisis Group Supports European Union's Participation in
Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Settlement
02.02.08 15:54

Azerbaijan, Baku 2 February /corr. Trend K.Ramazanova / The European
Union should be represented in the talks on peaceful settlement of
the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said the Director
of European Programs of the International Crisis Group, Sabina
Frazier.

The EU special representative for the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby,
who does not have a seat at the table, should be an observer in the
negotiations, mentioned in Frazier's report published on the official
web-site of International Crisis Group.

The conflict between the two countries of South Caucasus began in
1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia
has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the
Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding Districts. Since
1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the
Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire
agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-chairs
of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are currently
holding peaceful negotiations.

`The international community must impress on Armenia and Azerbaijan
the need for progress in peace talks and stop ignoring the conflict
in its aid packages,' Frazier said in her report.

She said that securing an agreement, even one that notes remaining
differences, before the polls, would be a hugely important step. `It
would keep the process alive and provide a place-holder from which
the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan could resume talks after the
2008 elections,' Frazier said.

The presidential elections in Armenia will take place on 19 February
and in Azerbaijan in October.