Co-chair Bernard Fassier: Returning of seven regions should the first step in the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict

Co-chair Bernard Fassier: Returning of seven regions should the first step in the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict
# 25 May 2007 17:26 (UTC +04:00)
“We had thorough debates with Azerbaijani President. We had met with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov before. Matthew Bryza could not come to Azerbaijan because of his work schedule. We are expressing the positions of all co-chairs. All three of the co-chairs will visit the region next time. We will try to determine the basic principles of the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We do not intend to publicize these principles, as they have not been completely coordinated. But there are not many uncoordinated issues. Both parties mean the same but speak differently while commenting on territory. The co-chairs propose to withdraw troops from all occupied territories. But it should be realized gradually. The process will take much time,” he said.
OSCE Minsk Group French co-chair stated that Nagorno Karabakh is Azerbaijani land.
“No country in the world, including Armenia recognizes Nagorno Karabakh as an independent state. All these territories should return to the control of Azerbaijan in the end,” he said.
The French co-chair said the presidential elections in France will not change the country’s position on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
“We try to be fair mediators in the process of negotiations. No election or change of power in the co-chairing countries will influence this issue,” he said.
He said the process of settlement has to be based on three main principles of international law.
“The principles of the solution have to be coordinated. “An easier way of solution has to be found to every conflict. The first step in the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be returning of seven regions. If Azerbaijan can return these regions, it will be the starting point in the process of settlement,” he said.
Bernard Fassier said the internally displaced persons will be brought back to their native lands.
He compared the co-chairs’ mission with the work of builders.
“We are preparing a fundament,” he said.
The co-chairs said that control over Lachin corridor will be a very difficult problem. Yuri Merzlyakov said that this problem will be debated at the meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents in St. Petersburg.
“We hope that the presidents will achieve improvements. If basic principle is coordinated, further steps will be discussed,” he said.
Bernard Fassier did not rule out the co-chairs’ visit to Nagorno Karabakh after the Presidents’ meeting. /APA/

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