Azeri president fails to start Karabakh settlement from scratch – daily
Yeni Musavat, Baku
29 Apr 04
Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Robert Kocharyan
respectively started their meeting at 1330 [0830 gmt] Baku time
yesterday. The meeting was also attended by the OSCE [Minsk Group]
[Passage omitted: Presidents’ remarks on the meeting]
Observers pay a special attention to a point from the presidents’
statements. Ilham Aliyev acknowledged that efforts to restart talks
from scratch yielded no results. It is no secret that Ilham Aliyev,
who stepped into his father’s shoes at the expense of certain
conditions, has been burdened (or he burdened himself) with
troublesome problem of making compromises on Karabakh.
Ilham Aliyev realized his responsibilities and therefore, he wanted to
resume the negotiations on the Karabakh settlement from scratch and
this might have been advantageous to Azerbaijan. However, Aliyev’s
efforts received sharp reactions, particularly from the USA, and the
new co-chairman [of the OSCE Minsk group], Steven Mann, stated openly
that not only it was important to give the go-ahead for the
negotiations but it was necessary for Azerbaijan to compromise.
The above said has also to do with Armenian President Robert
Kocharyan. He has been manipulating the “Karabakh card” for a long
period and it is high time for him to make concessions. It is not by
accident that the French president also “reprimanded” him [Kocharyan]
before a visit to Warsaw… [ellipsis as published].
There only remains to wait for the effects of this and next meetings
on the overall atmosphere in Azerbaijan and Armenia.
[Passage omitted: Presidents of the South Caucasus republics also met