Armenian FM says next meeting with Azerbaijan over NK will be in May

Armenian foreign minister says next meeting with Azerbaijan over
disputed enclave will be in May

Associated Press
April 19, 2004

YEREVAN, Armenia — Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian said
Monday that he planned to meet with his Azerbaijani counterpart in
May to continue discussions on resolving the countries’ dispute over

Oskanian said that the meeting he held last week in Prague with
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov was useful but did not
break new ground.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan.
Ethnic Armenian forces drove out Azerbaijan’s army from the region in
the 1990s and ethnic Azeris fled. Since a 1994 cease-fire,
Nagorno-Karabakh has been run by an internationally unrecognized

Despite the cease-fire, shooting still breaks out sporadically across
the so-called “line of control,” a demilitarized strip separating
Azeri and Armenian forces.

The unresolved status of Nagorno-Karabakh keeps tensions high between
the countries and apparently discourages foreign investors fearful
of a new outbreak of fighting and instability.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani officials met under the auspices of the
“Minsk Group,” an arm of the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe devoted to resolving the dispute. The Minsk Group is led
by a troika of diplomats from the United States, France and Russia.

The newly appointed top U.S. official for the group, Stephen Mann,
met on Monday with Armenian officials.

“What I will be doing in this position is representing the
U.S. national interests and it is in the American national interest
to work for a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh
issue,” Mann told reporters.