Diplomats make another attempt to settle NK conflict


RIA Novosti, Russia
May 12 2004

BAKU/YEREVAN, May 12, (RIA Novosti) – Vardan Oskanyan, Armenia’s
foreign minister, and Elmar Mamedyarov, Azerbaijan’s foreign
minister, will discuss a settlement of the Nagorny-Karabakh conflict
in Strasbourg.

The meeting will take place within the framework of a Council of
Europe foreign ministers session and the cochairmen of the OSCE Minsk
Group on Nagorny Karabakh from the United States, Russia and France
will participate in the meeting.

Speaking about the coming meeting in Strasbourg, Yuri Merzlyakov, the
Russian cochairman, said that the meeting of foreign ministers “will
have an open agenda, that is, the sides of the conflict and the
cochairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group can put forth any proposals at the

According to Mr. Merzlyakov, “the mediators want to find a compromise
between the so-called package and the stage-by-stage methods of
settling the conflict.”

The press secretary of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Gamlet
Gasparyan, said that “so far, there is no clear or fixed agenda of
the negotiations.” He added that a meeting of the personal
representatives of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan on a
Nagorny Karabakh settlement was not planned to be held in Strasbourg.

The head of the press service of the Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry,
Metin Mirza, also said that he had no information about consultations
being held in Strasbourg between the personal representatives of the
Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents on a Karabakh settlement – Deputy
Foreign Ministers Tatul Margaryan and Araz Azimov.

On April 28, Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President
Robert Kocharyan of Armenia met within the framework of the European
Economic Summit in Warsaw. After the meeting they stated that they
supported intensifying the negotiation process on a settlement to the
Karabakh conflict.

After it was defeated in a war with Armenia over Nagorny Karabakh
(formally against Yerevan-supported armed units of the Armenian
enclave in Azerbaijan whose capital is in Stepanakert and who wanted
independence from Azerbaijan and their own state), Azerbaijan lost up
to 30% of its own territory and over a million of its citizens have
become refugees. Baku says that it will never reconcile the loss of
Nagorny Karabakh and expresses its readiness to grant it autonomy but
only as part of a united Azerbaijani state. However, seemingly
neither Yerevan nor Stepanakert even consider this possibility.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS