Kocharian & Aliyev to discuss NK conflict in Warsaw

RIA Novosti, Russia
April 28 2004


BAKU, April 28 (RIA Novosti) – Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan
and Robert Kocharyan of Armenia will discuss ways of settling the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on Wednesday, April 28, in Warsaw.

Aliyev and Kocharyan had arrived in Warsaw on the day before to
attend a European economic summit.

The Azeri president is to have a two-hour meeting with the Armenian
president. Besides, on Wednesday evening, Aliyev will also meet with
co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh from the US,
Russia and France.

(The Armenian-Azeri armed conflict over who shall own
Nagorno-Karabakh – an Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan – flared up
in the last years of existence of the Soviet Union and continued for
almost five years. Nagorno-Karabakh’s armed forces (read Armenia’s)
succeeded in assuming control over up to 20 per cent of Azerbaijan’s
territory and practically dictated armistice terms to Baku, with more
than a million Azeris becoming refugees. All the subsequent years up
to the present the situation in the region could be characterised by
one word – neither peace, nor war. The self-proclaimed republic of
Nagorno-Karabakh, sensing Yerevan’s support – incidentally, the
current president of Armenia Robert Kocharyan is a native of
Nagorno-Karabakh who made his political career thanks precisely to
successful operations in the course of the conflict – in no way wants
to return to Azerbaijan’s constitutional field, although Baku is
prepared to grant it the widest autonomy. Nor have the efforts of the
OSCE Minsk group brought any tangible results.

Aliyev will make a report at the European Economic Summit and dwell
on economic reforms being carried out in Azerbaijan, the country’s
role in the implementation of large-scale projects in the region, and
regional cooperation.

In addition, the president of Azerbaijan is also scheduled to meet
with his Georgian opposite number Mikhail Saakashvili to supposedly
discuss bilateral Georgian-Azeri relations and construction of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

On Wednesday, Aliyev will leave Warsaw for Strasbourg to attend a
spring PACE session, where on Thursday, April 29, he will address it.
The session is devoted to Azerbaijan’s implementation of its
obligations to the Council of Europe.

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