Lavrov on NK, Caspian & Iraq settlement

RIA Novosti, Russia
Aug 18 2004


MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) – The settlement of the Nagorny
Karabakh issue is possible only through agreements between Armenia
and Azerbaijan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told
journalists after talks with Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov.

“Russia is interested in the resolution of the Nagorny Karabakh
problem. The conflict can be settled only on the basis of the sides’
agreements,” Mr. Lavrov said.

He noted that Russia is ready to contribute to the negotiating
process both as “a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and as a friend
and partner.”

“We are satisfied with the fact that the negotiating process was
resumed early last year,” Mr. Lavrov said.

“We hope that the working group on the Caspian will work out
acceptable decisions on the Caspian status at its regular meeting, to
take place in Moscow,” the minister told journalists.

He noted that these decisions would be in the field of international

In his turn, Mr. Mamedyarov stressed that “the diplomatic resource
must be intensified.” He also expressed confidence that “points of
contact will be found to reach a final decision in determining the
Caspian status.”

Russo-Azeri relations have been developing actively, Sergei Lavrov
said after talks with Elmar Mamedyarov.

“We discussed a wide range of bilateral relations, regional and
Caspian cooperation, the Nagorny Karabakh settlement and
international cooperation. We agreed on a number of issues called
upon to remove the existing problems,” he said.

On his part, Mr. Mamedyarov said that Azerbaijan regards relations
with Russia as strategic partnership.

Russia speaks for involvement of all forces in Iraq, including the
opposition, in the creation of national structural bodies, he said
after the talks with his Azeri counterpart.

“Developments in Iraq cause concern. In the framework of UN
resolution 1546, the key issue is creation of national structural
bodies on the basis of involvementof all political forces, including
oppositional. This idea underlies our approach to settlement,” he

“Convocation of all Iraqi forces may serve as a core for boosting the
process of overcoming the crisis with involvement of the UN Security
Council,” the minister said.

“Activation of this mechanism could become an important impetus for
all countries to help Iraqis,” Mr. Lavrov said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress