Karabakh Responds to Ter Petrosyan Article

STEPANAKERT (Yerevan News Agency)–In an announcement issued Thursday–the Foreign Ministry of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic sharply criticized Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s approach on the resolution of the Karabakh conflict as articulated in an article published by most Armenian newspapers last Saturday.

The foreign ministry announcement also revealed that Armenia had applied pressures on the leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh in 1993 to withdraw self-defense units from the Kelbadjar region.

"In 1993–pressures by Armenia were aimed at a withdrawal by Karabakh self-defense forces from Kelbadjar (we [the Karabakh foreign ministry] are forced to publicize this for the first time)," read the statement.

The announcement deemed inaccurate–Ter-Petrosyan’s statemen’s on the posturing of the Karabakh leadership on the "package deal" or "step-by-step" approaches to the peace process.

In his article entitled "War or Peace–Time to Get Serious," Ter-Petrosyan stated that Karabakh–by initially rejecting a "package" proposal in May of 1997–and later rejecting the current step-by-step proposal and calling for a "package" initiative–severely compromised the positions of both Armenia and Karabakh.

The Karabakh foreign minister explained that the May 1997 proposal–which called for an end to military operations and a discussion on the Karabakh status–stemmed from announcemen’s made by the Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe during last December’s Lisbon summit–thus forcing Karabakh to reject the May 1997 proposal.

The Foreign Ministry announcement clarified that the leadership of Karabakh was categorically opposed to the sentimen’s emerging from the Lisbon summit and not a "package deal" proposal. The announcement also reiterated the Karabakh leadership’s persistence in pushing for a package proposal.

The entire text of this announcement–as well as–Ter-Petrosyan’s article will be featured in our Weekend edition–which will also include reactions to the article.

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