Robert Cooper: South Caucasus would be very different if not war over Nagorno-Karabakh
If not for the war over Nagorno-Karabakh, the entire South Caucasus region would be very different now, a British diplomat, former Special Advisor to the European External Action Service, Robert Cooper, said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza on the sidelines of the official opening of the Annual ‘Valdai’ Meeting in Sochi.
"I think it's a real tragedy. This is the first war, which began during the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has been 27 years since its beginning. Imagine what would happen if there was no war, if we could stop it quickly. I think that the region would have been totally different. So much is at stake: territory, history, but it cannot cost lost lives, time and resources. So let's find a way to stop the conflict tomorrow," he called on.
According to Cooper, the relations with the republics of the South Caucasus are very important for the UK. "We have developed very important for us relations with Azerbaijan, Europe receives a large amount of energy from it," the diplomat noted.
"Our relations with Georgia have gone through different stages of ups and downs in recent years. We have a great respect for Georgia's growth and reforms in the economy and government, I hope that this will continue in the future," he said.
"Armenia is a little less well known to us, but, nevertheless, we have historical ties with this country. I think it would be great to have closer relations with Armenia," the British politician stressed.
Also, Robert Cooper expressed confidence that Russia can not be qualified as a country which invaded Syria. "It's actions on behalf of regime of Bashar al-Assad are in accordance with the UN Charter’s Article 51," he said.
Speaking about the impact of the situation in Syria on Russian-US relations, the British diplomat described the prevailing situation as a paradox. "Both Russia and the United States are involved in military operations in Syria. The bad news is that it helps to continue the civil war. The good news is that because of this they have to talk to each other." the expert believes.
According to him, the conflict in Syria should be settled by political means. "I believe that reasonable people can always solve the problem. It is difficult, it requires a lot of time, but it's possible," Robert Cooper concluded.