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    Amanda Paul: OSCE Minsk group co-chairs format has become stale in some ways

    Yerevan is quite happy with the current co-chairs

    Baku. 6 February. REPORT.AZ/ Armenia will not support an initiative to change the current format of the OSCE Minsk Group for the reason that Yerevan is quite happy with the current co-chairs. Report informs, expert of Center for European Policy, publicist Amanda Paul says. 

    Earlier, the deputy of Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan Azay Guliyev told about the possibility of revision of the OSCE Minsk Group format and including Germany and Turkey as co-chair countries to the OSCE Minsk group.

    'Furthermore, it is not likely that Armenia would back this as generally speaking Yerevan is quite happy with the current co-chairs', A.Paul added.

    'Minsk group has been in its current format for a long time and in some ways has become stale', she stressed. 

    According to her, 'hence injecting some new blood is not a bad idea although at the end of the day it is not the Minsk Group but the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan that have to agree a solution, the Minsk Group is there to help them along the way'.

    According to her, 'the issue of changing the Minsk Group has been raised following President Aliyev’s visit to Germany where he met with Chancellor Angela Merkel. During their meeting Merkel apparently said that “Germany would like to help in resolving the problem”. Furthermore, during a recent foreign policy review, Germany taking a more active role in conflict resolution, was one of the recommendations. Germany is the most powerful EU member state, hence if Berlin were ready to do this I believe it would be positive, as it has a lot of political clout. The EU needs to take a more proactive role in the conflicts in its eastern neighbourhood as they are acting as a handbrake on regional stability and security. As for Turkey, Azerbaijan has proposed Ankara become a co-chair before but given Turkey’s positon on the conflict, which is a mirror image of Baku’s, Turkey clearly does not have an impartial position which complicates its ability to become a co-chair. Yerevan views Turkey as biased so there seems little chance of Turkey having a place at the table in the current format'. 

    'Furthermore, obviously to change the format there needs to be an agreement and that may be difficult to reach. There are two options either enlarge the current format to include others or else two of the current three c-chairs would have to give up their seat. I imagine it would be US and France vacating their seats, because there is no chance whatsoever of removing Russia from this process despite the fact that Russia has shown itself to be a conflict builder rather than solver. I also have my doubts that France would be keen either', she added. 

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