Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
Official Tbilisi respects Armenia's stance and will continue its efforts to promote the two countries' cooperation, Paata Zakareishvili, Georgian State Minister for Reintegration, said at a recent international conference in Tbilisi.
The conference was dedicated to the settlement of conflicts in the Caucasus. It was organized by the South Caucasus Institute of Regional Security and the Caucasus International University with the support of the Swiss and Ukrainian Embassies in Georgia.
Zakareishvili thinks that the most important factor hindering the development of the South Caucasus region is the multilevel conflicts. There are six such conflicts, he said.
One of the most serious factors is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – and Georgia is very much interested in its early resolution. The other factor is frozen Armenian-Turkish relations, which must be unfrozen.
"After the 08.08.08 war, due to Russia's position, the processes to settle the Georgian-Abkhazian and the Georgian-South Ossetian conflicts were stopped," Zakareishvili said.
He said that Armenia's decision to join the Customs Union has given rise to new realities in the region, with each great power wishing to make the best of them.
"Russia has come clear of the global crisis and is now willing to enhance its presence in the region. NATO, in its turn, wants to expand eastward," Zakareishvili said.
He said that it was a good decision on Georgia's part to distance itself from Russia, but now Turkey wants to fill this vacancy.