Aliyev Welcomes Minsk Group Proposals

BAKU (Itar-Tass)–Azeri President Gaidar Aliyev thinks positively of proposals from Russian–French and American co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh aimed at settling the Armenian-Azeri conflict.

Aliyev told Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov– currently in Baku on a brief working visit–that his country is ready to give a written answer to the proposals.

According to an agreement reached during a visit of the co- chairmen to Baku Sept. 23–Azerbaijan and other parties to the conflict shall give an official written answer to the proposals two weeks after the visit.

A scheme of the conflict settlement announced by Aliyev at his meeting with Primakov calls for Azeri regions adjoining Nagorno-Karabakh to be freed from Armenian units in the first settlement phase–and the Lachin and Shoushi regions–located on the Armenian border and in Nagorno-Karabakh–be freed in the second phase simultaneously with determination of Karabakh’s status.

Aliyev believes the proposals are acceptable as a basis for intensification of the negotiations. Their fulfillment can help the sides achieve positive results.

Aliyev said Tuesday that his country highly values an active Russian role in adoption of the Lisbon statement that outlines priorities of the settlement.

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