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BAKU, July 8 (Itar-Tass) - Ukraine, which is chairman of the OSCE, seeks to increase the role of the organization, OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said.
Speaking at a press conference after the talks with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov, Kozhara said after the collapse of the Soviet Union “the OSCE started losing its significance as the key forum in Europe where security issues were being discussed”.
“In recent times other issues such as human rights, election monitoring, economy and environment prioritize. Meanwhile, the essence of the OSCE is in its name - the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,” the Ukrainian foreign minister said.
He said the Helsinki plus 40 process had begun to mark the anniversary of the organization. “We work actively within this process,” the Ukrainian minister said.
Kozhara stressed that the settlement of the so-called frozen conflicts, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, was one of the key issues for Ukraine. “While we seek to increase the OSCE role, we believe it necessary to step up its peacekeeping efforts,” he said.
The Ukrainian minister said the country supported the OSCE Minsk Group’s efforts and “wishes it more efficiency within the format of the talks”.
At the same time, Kozhara said Ukraine favoured the development of humanitarian contacts. In his view, the civil societies of Azerbaijan and Armenia can meet oftener. The purpose of such contacts is to contribute to reducing the effects of the humanitarian catastrophe, Kozhara said.
“Ukraine’s presidency in the OSCE will exert maximum effort to make the talks more dynamic in the Karabakh settlement,” the minister said.