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Rays of Hope for Solving Upper Karabag Conflict

InternationalRays of hopes to solve the Upper Karabag (Karabakh) Conflict, which Turkey placed as a precondition to Armenia in order to establish relations, shine through.

Officials from the two countries came together Friday at a general council meeting for Parliamentarians Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) for the firs time in order to discuss the Karabakh conflict.

The meeting\'s atmosphere was reported as positive and a road map was determined. According to PACE\'s Azeri deputy Asim Mollazade, a second meeting will be held in Paris on September 12 with a more detailed agenda.

The EC\'s definition of Armenia as the \"attacker state\" and Karabakh as a \"separatist regime\" in January accelerated the process of a solution for the Karabakh conflict. The Organization of Security and Cooperation for Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group will conduct negotiations with political representatives of both parties in the region next July. Established in 1992 to solve the problems between the two countries, the Group is expected to focus on a withdrawal plan of Armenia from the Upper Karabakh. Turkey, which places a solution of the Upper Karabakh conflict as a precondition in order to begin diplomatic relations with Armenia, has also played important role in the negotiations. Both Turkish and Azeri deputies cooperated in the negotiations at PACE. The Upper Karabakh conflict will most likely be discussed during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan\'s Azerbaijan visit on June 29.

The last Armenian attempt for recognition of the Upper Karabakh as a free state was inconclusive. France and Russia announced that they do not recognize the elections in Karabakh scheduled for June 19 and the Upper Karabakh is within Azerbaijan\'s boarders. Baku wants Armenia to withdraw from all sections of Karabakh at the same time. Armenia has agreed to withdraw from five regions immediately but does not want to withdraw from the Lacin and Kelbecer regions at present since many Armenians live in the region.

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