Aliyev Encourages NATO Role in Karabakh Talks

MADRID (RFE/RL)–Azerbaijan’s President Gaidar Aliyev is urging North Atlantic Treaty Organization to play an active role in finding a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In a speech Tuesday in Madrid at a meeting of heads of state and government of the new Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)–Aliyev said he counts on the active role of NATO and the EAPC. According to the official–they "should not be indifferent observers to the conflicts in the Caucasus."

The EAPC brings together NATO states–the 27 members of NATO’s ?Partnership for Peace’ program–and Tajikistan.

At the session–Aliyev criticized Armenia’saying–because of what he called Yerevan’s non-constructive position on Nagorno-Karabakh–"the efforts of the OSCE Minsk group have not produced desirable results yet."

However he expressed the hope that Russia–the United States and France–as co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe negotiating team on Karabakh–could achieve a peace agreement–and ensure durable cease-fire between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In addition–according to wire services–US President Bill Clinton and French President Jacques Chirac held a brief conversation on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. No other details were released.

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