Karabakh Rejects OSCE Proposed Peace Plan; Armenia Azerbaijan Accept

STEPANAKERT (Noyan Tapan)–The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has rejected the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group proposal for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict–while Armenia and Azerbaijan have accepted the terms as basis for a peace plan–announced Karabakh foreign minister and presidential candidate Arkady Ghoukassian during a meeting with Karabakh army officers and soldiers Friday.

Ghoukassian added that OSCE Minsk Group peace talks would continue next month–following the Karabakh presidential elections–adding–however–that the Minsk Group did not have a new proposal to present the sides to the conflict.

"Despite the current reality–we will not resign from our main objective and will strive for the recognition of Karabakh’s independence," assured Ghoukassian.

The presidential hopeful outlined that the Nagorno-Karabakh question was not merely a Karabakh concern–but rather one for Armenia and the Diaspora–thus requiring a united posturing on the issue for the just resolution of the conflict.

"Our major problem today is to ensure peace in Nagorno Karabakh. The strength and the might of our army–its fighting capabilities are the guarantor of peace and security for the Karabakh people," Ghoukassian said.

The presidential candidate was reported to have mentioned that it had been very difficult for him to make the decision to run for president.

He believed there were quite a few other individuals deserving that position–individuals who had been defending the ideas of Karabakh on battlefields and rebuilding the Republic’s shattered economy.

"We were all on the threshold of a national liberation struggle. So I have no right to let the people down today–those who trusted me–nor have I the right to resign from those ideals," Ghoukassian concluded.

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