March 24
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If Armenia expects anything from OSCE Minsk Group, it should show initiative and invite its co-chairs to Yerevan in this tense situation, journalist Suren Sargsyan said  today.

"The relations between OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states are tense, the latter are trying to accuse each other of failing to continue the Minsk Group activities. But we cannot get an answer to the most important question: what does the Armenian government want from the Minsk Group?" said Sargsyan.

He recalled that Azerbaijan opposes the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group. "Globally, it is not Aliyev who will decide what kind of co-chairmanship the Minsk Group should have. If relations between Russia, France and the U.S. are tense today, it doesn't mean they won't get better tomorrow. What is important here is the fact that yesterday the United States appointed a new co-chair. It means that the U.S. keeps insisting that the Minsk Group is the most appropriate format for the settlement of the conflict and there is no adequate response from Armenia," the expert said.

Sarkisian stressed that in addition to the OSCE Minsk Group, there are other formats in the settlement of the Karabakh-Azerbaijan conflict. "The Brussels format supposes that representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan meet and discuss the settlement of the problem and discuss the implementation of trilateral agreements of November 9 during the meetings in Moscow. The settlement of the problem is dealt with by Brussels, saying Brussels, we should also understand the US, France, as the co-chair countries of the Minsk Group, and on the other side - Russia. They say to Moscow: the document of November 9 was signed under your leadership and you lead this process till the end," the expert said.

On Wednesday, the U.S. announced the appointment of Philip Reeker as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and a senior adviser in the negotiations on the Caucasian issues. Baku reacted rather harshly, saying that attempts to "reanimate" the practically non-functioning Minsk Group could lead to the U.S. alienation from the process of normalization of Azerbaijani-Armenian relations. "The Karabakh conflict has been resolved, and Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan," said Leyla Abdullayeva, head of the Foreign Ministry's press service department.

In response, a representative of the U.S. Department of State said today that by appointing Ricoeur, the United States of America wants to achieve a comprehensive Armenian-Azerbaijani peace.

After 44 days of war the negotiations between the presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are in fact deadlocked. While Armenia speaks about the necessity of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship, Azerbaijani President Aliyev insists that such an issue no longer exists, thus sending the Minsk Group "into retirement".

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