Kocharian: negotiations with Azerbaijan over NK more intensive

Associated Press Worldstream
February 26, 2005 Saturday 12:11 PM Eastern Time

Armenian president says negotiations with Azerbaijan over disputed
enclave more intensive

YEREVAN, Armenia

Negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed enclave
of Nagorno-Karabakh are in an intensive period, which could lead to a
final resolution, the Armenian president said in an interview
published Saturday.

President Robert Kocharian also insisted officials from the enclave
take part in the talks, which have been led by the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe. Azerbaijan has refused to
negotiate with the regional leaders.

“The negotiating process is becoming more intensive, and there is a
slight hope for a result,” Kocharian said in the interview with the
Voice of Armenia newspaper.

“As long as no practical solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem has
been found, people will keep saying the negotiating process is at a
dead end,” Kocharian was quoted as saying. “Such conflicts can’t be
settled quickly.”

Nagorno-Karabakh has been de-facto independent since 1994, when a
cease-fire ended a war that killed 30,000 people and drove a million
from their homes. Tension remains high, however, and disputes over
the enclave and additional territory have prevented the two countries
from settling the conflict.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian government is not recognized
internationally. The enclave is geographically surrounded by
Azerbaijan’s territory. Armenian forces also control a large amount
of surrounding territory, including land that links the enclave with