CIS Head Calls Armenia Approach to Peace Constructive

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenian President Kocharian met with the CIS Executive Secretary Boris Berezovsky whose visit to Yerevan last week was quite unexpected. Following the meeting–Berezovsky said that he will leave Yerevan for Baku and is also likely to visit Stepanakert by the end of the month.

Berezovsky reported that during the meeting with the president he tried to analyze the conflict with Armenia’s standpoint–namely–that Armenia will not at present raise the issue of Karabakh’s independence or unification with Armenia. Stressing that this expressly stated position was confirmed by Kocharian–Berezovsky said–"I find it constructive–it is this way that we should move forward."

The executive secretary made no comment on the recent statement of Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–who said that if Azerbaijan does not compromise–Armenia will raise the question of unification with Karabakh again.

Berezovsky also met with the Armenian Prime Minister Armen Darbinian with whom he continued the discussion of the issue of establishing common economic and financial interests for the CIS countries.

He said that people have been appointed to deal with these issues–and "the main principles of the economic and financial interaction of the CIS countries" are likely "to be formulated" this summer.

Berezovsky expressed the opinion that the role of the oil factor in the Karabakh issue is insignificant. "Whether it [the role of oil] is good or bad is another question–but it so," he said.

The participants in the meeting expressed the opinion that economic problems are of vital importance today. They stressed the need for creating strong preconditions for the development of economic cooperation. At the same time the sides addressed the issue of improving the work of CIS control bodies.

The participants in the meeting also discussed conflicts within the CIS. Berezovsky–who came to Armenia from Georgia–told Kocharian about the settlement of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. The sides also discussed prospects for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

The CIS executive secretary expressed his willingness to visit Nagorno Karabakh in the near future to study the situation in the area.

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