Karabakh leader rules out return of territories to Azerbaijan

Karabakh leader rules out return of territories to Azerbaijan

Aykakan Zhamanak, Yerevan
31 May 05

Text of Naira Zograbyan report by Armenian newspaper Aykakan Zhamanak
on 31 May headlined “Only mutual compromises”

On 28 May, the president of the NKR , Arkadiy Gukasyan, took part in a
“round dance of unity”. He later answered journalists’ questions.

[Aykakan Zhamanak correspondent] Mr Gukasyan, the Armenian and
Azerbaijani presidents are to meet in June. Is that possible that a
document with new elements will be put forward for negotiations?

[Gukasyan] No, it is not. All the possible options were put forward
long ago and I do not think there is something new to say.

[Correspondent] If the parties have discussed all the possible options
and have accepted none of them, is there any point in continuing the
negotiating process?

[Gukasyan] The process is continuing and I think the parties have to
mellow and this is relevant to Azerbaijan in the first place.

[Correspondent] What can you say about rumours that the liberated
territories [seven districts around Nagornyy Karabakh under Armenian
control] will be returned to Azerbaijan?

[Gukasyan] This is a careless approach because the problem of the
districts should be discussed only within the general context. We
raise the problem of status [of Nagornyy Karabakh] and Azerbaijan
raises the problem of the districts, I mean there are no points of
contiguity between our and their problems.

[Correspondent] Can this contiguity appear?

[Gukasyan] I am sure we will come to common ground some day. We do not
have an alternative, we should settle this problem at the negotiating
table. But I cannot say when this will be possible.

[Correspondent] Mr Gukasyan, did the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen
set a deadline for solving the problem?

[Gukasyan] I do not think that they can give us time, time is always
ours and we ourselves are interested in settling the problem as soon
as possible.

[Correspondent] What are the compromises you can accept?

[Gukasyan] If Azerbaijan does not want to talk about compromises
at all, in that case it is senseless for us to talk about mutual