Ter Petrosyan Discusses Upcoming Peace Summit

YEREVAN (Azg/Noyan Tapan)–The initiative by the Russian and French presidents to hold a summit on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Moscow has not been officially formulated yet.

Presenting Armenia’s stance in that matter to Russia and France– Levon Ter-Petrosyan opined that such a summit would be efficient only if Nagorno-Karabakh attends–spokesman Levon Zourabian said on Thursday. He said that this suggestion had been welcomed by the Russian and French officials.

Ter-Petrosyan reportedly believes it would be reasonable to hold a summit only when serious results are achieved in the negotiations. Otherwise there would be multiple unsolved technical problems–which could not be addressed at a meeting on such a high level.

Ter-Petrosyan explained his and Jacques Chirac’s optimism on the resolution of the Karabakh conflict during the same address at the Political Institute of Paris.

Ter-Petrosyan did very strongly stress and condition Armenia’s participation in any type of summit with the involvement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

He explained the difference between the package and stage-by-stage modes of resolution. He refuted reports of contradiction between Armenia’s stance and that of Karabakh.

He stressed that "Armenia has always been supporting all approaches supported by Karabakh."

The official said "when they [OSCE] brought about the package resolution–we agreed with it. When the co-chairmen’saw that this is not accepted by Azerbaijan and Karabakh–they brought about the stage-by-stage mode. We also agreed to this. In all cases we wanted to be constructive."

Asked by journalists about the subject for negotiations–Ter-Petrosyan answered: "Today the subject includes what it did not include yesterday. For example: today Azerbaijan is negotiating on the problem of land communications between Armenia and Karabakh–though this issue did not exist for Azerbaijan yesterday. And Karabakh was speaking of independence only two years ago–while today it also speaks of a compromise and is ready to have horizontal ties with Azerbaijan."

Asked to comment on the wave of discontent that arose after his recent news conference in Armenia–Ter-Petrosyan said that the people took that statement quietly and added that the fuss was raised by the opposition which is understandable.

"The fuss is not an argument. The opposition is making a fuss because it has no argumen’s. I do not know if Vazgen Manoukian or Paruir Hairikian possess a program of a solution to the Karabakh conflict," he said.

Asked about the influence of the oil factor on the negotiating process–Ter-Petrosyan noted that there is influence and it is negative–because Azerbaijan used that factor to toughen its position. On the other hand–he noted that the chance to use that oil in the near future makes the United States and European countries speed up the settlement process.

In response to a question about UNESCO’s celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire–Ter-Petrosyan noted that Armenia addressed a protest to UNESCO and added that he was surprised and appreciative Chirac’s stance against the UNESCO plans.

In conclusion Ter-Petrosyan reported that he appealed to the French president to release Varoujan Karapetian charged with terrorism.

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