BAKU: Int’l Crisis Group expects peace accord during Aliyev-Kocharia

International Crisis Group expects peace accord during Aliyev-Kocharian talks

Assa-Irada, Azerbaijan
Aug 4 2005

Baku, August 3, AssA-Irada — The International Crisis Group hopes
for a peace accord at the upcoming meeting of the Azerbaijani and
Armenian presidents Ilham Aliyev and Robert Kocharian in Kazan, Russia.

ICG is an organization engaged in the prevention of deadly conflicts
worldwide.

“An agreement on the Upper Garabagh conflict settlement may be reached
at the August 26 meeting of the two Presidents. The talks on the issue
carried over the past year enable this conclusion”, the organization’s
project director on South Caucasus Sabin Frasier told Radio Liberty.

Frasier said that the people were not provided with enough information
on peace talks, which has led to public discontent and different
speculations in the media.

“Regardless of whether any agreement is reached, the Azerbaijani and
Armenian government should provide the people with clear information.

Otherwise, the public will disapprove any issue being agreed upon.”
The International Crisis Group’s regular monthly report says that the
mediating OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, during their recent visit to the
region, expressed optimism concerning the peace process. The media
have been covering the issue of holding a ‘referendum’ in Garabagh,
which is denied by the Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry, it said.

“Although public opinion remains harsh in Azerbaijan, it is relatively
mild in Armenia”, the report said. It also indicated that with the
parliament election approaching in the country, international pressure
on Azerbaijan is increasing, as the United States, European Union
and OSCE are making statements calling for a free and fair vote.*

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