Foreign Ministry Holds Press Conference on Karabakh

YEREVAN (Yerevan News Agency)–A game of semantics was at play Wednesday when Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arsen Gasparyan told a press conference that Armenia wanted a peaceful resolution to the Karabakh conflict–stressing that "accepting as basis" and "being prepared to address" should be differentiated when discussing the proposed provisions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group conflict resolution plan for Karabakh.

Gasparyan was referring to a recent announcement by Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Minister and presidential candidate Arkady Ghoukassian regarding Armenia’s acceptance and Karabakh’s rejection of the OSCE Minsk Group proposal.

Gasparyan also said that Azerbaijan had become more adamant in its posturing and was attempting to settle the conflict through its desired scenario using states interested in Azerbaijan’s so-called vast oil reserves.

The spokesperson outlined that the negotiations were solely under the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group–and stressed the importance confidentiality in the eventual success of any peace plan.

He added–however–that Azeri President Gaidar Aliyev and Foreign Minister Hassan Hassanov were making public announcemen’s contrary to the principles of the OSCE Minks Group–a reality about which the mediating body had already been informed.

The Karabakh issue–Gasparyan explained–is scheduled to be on the agenda of upcoming talks between Russian president Boris Yeltsin and Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov and Alexander Arzoumanian.

In discussing this week’s meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Robert Kocharian and his Russian counterpart Viktor Chernomyrdin–Gasparyan announced that there were no differences in approach between Ter-Petrosyan and Kocharian. He added–however–that other matters related to the Kocharian-Chernomyrdin talks should be clarified by the Prime Minister’s office.

Gasparyan explained that Armenia’s representative to the United Nations Movses Abelyan had already presented the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution mechanism within the framework of UN policies and principles.

He–once again–reiterated that Armenia’s diplomatic strategy to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict aimed at securing direct talks between Karabakh and Azerbaijan–garnering a separate status for the national security of Karabakh and placing that in the peace agreement and–finally–ensuring direct ties between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

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