Karabakh Official Discusses Peace Process

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia has advised the chairmen of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to focus their attention on the issue of Karabakh’s status–maintaining that any direct control of Karabakh by Azerbaijan should be ruled out and that Karabakh and Azerbaijan should have balanced relations only–said Karabakh Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arsen Gasparian at a Wednesday press conference.

"The Karabakh peace process is entering a new phase; Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are ready to make every effort to get the negotiating process back on track," Gasparian said. The ministry spokesman also commented that the Minsk chairmen–who recently toured the region–weren’t surprised at Armenia’s stand.

He said that "the co-chairmen’should realize that it is the mediators who had been embarrassed by the Lisbon principles" and that they should draw appropriate conclusions. The current deadlock in negotiations can be broken only if the region’s present-day situation is taken into consideration–he said. "We call a spade a spade," said Gasparian.

"The status will be decided by means of negotiations," said Gasparian–reiterating that Armenia’supports a package solution to the conflict.

The Karabakh official said that Armenia remains committed to the principles of the Karabakh settlement within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group and deems that organization capable of achieving a breakthrough in negotiations.

Gasparian also repeated Armenia’s opposition to holding the December Summit of the OSCE in Istanbul.

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