Armenia Rejects Aliyev Proposal on Pipeline

YEREVAN (Fact–Itar Tass)–A proposal by Azeri president Gaidar Aliyev to run a proposed oil Caspian pipeline through Armenia–on the condition that Armenia withdraw from the so-called "occupied territories" was rejected by Armenia–announced the foreign ministry Friday.

Armenian foreign ministry spokesperson Arsen Gasparyan stated that Aliyev’s proposal was unacceptable–explaining that the so-called "occupied territories" issue and the oil pipeline were not interrelated–making the discussion futile.

Gasparyan stated–however–that "it has been evident to all that the most profitable route for the pipeline is through Armenia."

Upon completion of bilateral talks–Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk conference on Nagorno-Karabakh.

The meeting was attended by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Pastukhov.

During the meeting–participants exchanged opinions on the problems of the Karabakh settlement. The sides expressed concern over the lack of progress in reaching an agreement under worsening conditions in regards to the cease-fire.

Participants stressed the importance of stepping up efforts by the co-chairmen of the Minsk process with the aim to persuade the conflicting sides to abide by a constructive approach and reach mutually acceptable solutions.

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