Is it possible that these men have ideas? Everybody intrigued by the prospect.
29 October 2012

New ideas are not something that one has come to associate with the co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Process, the diplomats assigned by France, Russia and the United States to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan for a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.

Ambassadors Robert Bradtke of the United States of America, Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, and Jacques Faure of France met jointly on Saturday, October 27 with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, and the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian in Paris. Also present was the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk - an even more unlikely candidate for blue sky thinking.

Yet the usual terse statement issued by the OSCE at the end of the meeting intriguingly says that after stressing "to the Ministers the importance of reducing tensions among the parties" the diplomats "presented their ideas on a working proposal to advance the peace process."

New ideas have been missing from the Karabakh conflict settlement process for a very long time. It is not clear if the ideas presented by the co-Chair of the Minsk Group are new ideas, or more of the same. But in the absence of any other reason for optimism one can only hope that the new ideas will be enough to motivate both Armenia and Azerbaijan to re-engage seriously with the peace process, something else that has been missing for some time.

source: This comment was contributed by the editorial team of

photo: The co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Process (picture courtesy of the OSCE)