MG co-chairs’ regional visit not expected to be breakthrough in Karabakh settlement – EU Reporter

Baku: The visit of the co-chairs of Minsk Group to Yerevan and Baku on 25-26 October was not expected to be a breakthrough in the Nargorno-Karabach conflict-resolution process, however the slow pace of the OSCE peacemaking institute opens an opportunity for the EU to encourage the rapprochement of two nations, sharing its experience of integration between the rivals to produce a lasting peace, said an article posted on EU Reporter.

According to the article, next to the formal ongoing negotiating process that has been advancing for more than two decades, much-needed confidence between Armenia and Azerbaijan is still lacking, which has made the progress minimal.

“Meanwhile, the EU’s ambition to establish itself as a global player has a chance to be fulfilled though contributing to frozen conflict-resolutions in its neighborhood complementing the OSCE efforts. Its slow pace is bringing more actors to an idea that the efforts of a formal institute such as the Minsk Group should be reinforced by the more active involvement of civil societies in confidence-building measures. In more than two decades of protracted conflict, trust is still dramatically lacking as an element that could hold the key to a lasting solution between two nations, which would contribute significantly to the well-being of the entire region, both politically and economically,” said the article.

According to the article, in resurrecting from the ashes of two world wars, Europe has unrivalled experience of reconciliation and integration between former rivals – this is the experience it can share with the South Caucasus opponents.

“The EU’s interest in settling the conflict goes beyond an interest in Caspian Sea energy resources that are abundant in oil and gas – the security and stability of the neighborhood is at stake. There are also other significant elements for the EU, making its engagement in the conflict resolution so vital. If, previously, Turkey was a model of a secular state with an Islamic tradition, now the honor certainly goes to Azerbaijan – multicultural and multiethnic, it has created a respectful environment for different communities, including Jews in restoring their synagogues, which suffered a decline in Soviet times, and are nowadays peacefully co-existing with mosques,” said the article.

“The EU’s Neighborhood Policy and later Eastern Partnership have declared conflict resolutions as their priority, however so far no considerable steps have been made to implement such intentions. Almost traditionally, the EU is pointing towards the OSCE Minsk group as being the responsible institute, but this attitude is now definitely outdated. The complexity of the protracted Nagorno-Karabakh conflict requires comprehensive approach to deal with emotions, prejudices and traumas,” said the article.