To all appearances, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs want to lobby a meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Deputy Director of the Caucasus Institute, political expert Sergey Minasyan has told ArmInfo.
According to Minasyan, the statement of the Co-Chairs says nothing new. "The Co-Chairs' problem is to find creative formulations every time. When the tension on the Line of Contact escalated, the Co-Chairs urged the sides to reduce the tension. After the Azeris' sabotage attack on Karvachar and the murder of 17-year-old Smbat Tsakanyan, they expressed serious concern about the increase in tensions and violence, including the targeted killings of civilians", says Minasyan. He adds that the OSCE Minsk Group can make diplomatic formulations only.
Minasyan stresses that the Co-Chairs are trying to continue the Karabakh peace process. In this context, the consensus stance of the U.S., Russian, and French Co-Chairs is very important amid the global processes.
When asked how realistic the high-level meeting is on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York, Minasyan points out that everything depends on whether the mediators will be able to exert pressure on Azerbaijan and to lobby that meeting. The expert says that the Co-Chairs are doing their best to continue the peace process but one should expect no breakthrough in the foreseeable future.
To remind, on July 23 the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and Pierre Andrieu of France) released a statement. "The Co-Chairs expressed their serious concern about the increase in tensions and violence, including the targeted killings of civilians, along the Line of Contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. They urged the parties to commit themselves to avoiding casualties and rejected the deliberate targeting of villages and the civilian population. They called on the Foreign Ministers to defuse tensions and adhere to the terms of the ceasefire. The Co-Chairs and Foreign Ministers also discussed possible agenda items for a presidential summit, underscoring the importance of a meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan for achieving progress in peace negotiations. They also discussed meetings which could take place in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly", says the statement.
To note, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has brought criminal charges against the Azeri raiders detained near Karvachar in early July. The press service of the Office reports that two Azeris were detained while attempting to cross the border last week: Gulin Shahbaz Jalaloglu, who had a silenced Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Makarov pistol and two frag grenades, and Dilham Gardashhan, a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a Makarov pistol. The third Azeri showed resistance and was killed. Both Jalaloglu and Gardashhan have been arrested and are facing the charge of illegal crossing of state border. A special investigation group is inquiring into the case. The Armenian side also suffered losses: Major Sargis Abrahamyan (born in 1972) was killed, a woman, Karina Davtyan (born in 1977) was wounded, and 17-year-old Smbat Tsakanyan was kidnapped and killed.