Yeltsin Appeals for Peace in Karabakh

MOSCOW (Reuter)–Russian President Boris Yeltsin appealed to Armenia and Azerbaijan Monday to speed up efforts to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and offered Russian help in the process.

Yeltsin issued his appeal to mark the third anniversary of the 1994 cease-fire which ended the worst fighting but found no political solution and has not prevented sporadic clashes since then–including in the past few weeks.

"The military conflict has not been wiped out. The suffering continues for hundreds of thousands of people who left their homes," Yeltsin said in a statement released by the Kremlin.

It was addressed to the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the leader of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I want to take this opportunity to make an insistent appeal to all leaders of all sides in the conflict to focus attention on the key questions of a settlement–the solving of which open the way to immediate agreement and the signing of a political accord."

Yeltsin offered Russia’s help–including arranging top-level meetings–to Levon Ter-Petrosyan–Azerbaijan President Gaidar Aliyev and Nagorno-Karabakh Acting President Leonard Petrosian.

He said issues to be addressed included the creation of conditions for ensuring Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity–the return of refugees and displaced persons–and guarantees of Nagorno-Karabakh’s security and links with the outside world.

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