AzerNews Weekly, Azerbaijan
Jan 7 2009


US Garabagh mediator `to be replaced`

07-01-2009 04:40:51


The United States will replace its co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group,
the group of countries seeking to negotiate a settlement to the
Armenia-Azerbaijan Upper (Nagorno) Garabagh conflict, an Azerbaijani
political analyst has said.
Rasim Musabayov told Lider TV channel that the replacement of the
American representative, Matthew Bryza, is due to the increasing
workload with his current post of US Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State for European and Eurasian Affairs. It is unknown, at this point,
who will succeed Bryza.
Musabayov went on to say that this year might see substantial efforts
to resolve the two-decade-long dispute.
"Last year`s developments indicate that resolution of the Garabagh
problem is currently the focus of attention in the international
community," Musabayov said. "They realize, even in Yerevan now, that
compromise steps have to be taken to move the peace process forward."
Musabayov stressed that following the August military confrontation in
neighboring Georgia, Russia`s interest in resolving the conflict has
increased as well.
The analyst did not rule out that Turkey would also step up its
diplomatic efforts in 2009 to find a solution to the conflict.
"Ankara is currently trying to warm up its relations with Armenia, but
this relationship will eventually benefit Azerbaijan," Musabayov
concluded.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus republics reared up in the
late 1980s due to Armenia`s territorial claims. Armenia has been
occupying over 20% of Azerbaijan`s internationally recognized
territory since the early 1990s, in defiance of international law. The
ceasefire accord was signed in 1994, but peace talks have achieved
little.