Participants of Peace March Arrive in Karabakh

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Participants of the "To the new century without wars and violence" Large Peace March arrived in Karabakh Sunday. Among the participants are members of the "Nippondzan Mekhodzi" Buddhist order and representatives of the Russian Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers.

The participants of the march met Monday with the Speaker of the National Assembly of Nagorno Karabakh Oleg Yesayan.

The speaker of the Karabakh Parliament supported the ideas of the peace march and pointed to its importance–stating that in fact–most of the military and political conflicts happen in Euroasia.

Yesayan stressed that the people of Nagorno Karabakh–burdened for years with the terrors of the war unleashed by Azerbaijan–are interested in peace and stability in the region.

He expressed optimism that the participants’ stay in the republic will make it possible for them to obtain a better knowledge of the Karabakh problem.

Yesayan emphasized the fact that the struggle of the people of Nagorno Karabakh is a struggle for the right to have their homeland.

He outlined the development of the conflict since 1988–the history of the Karabak Republic and the activities of the republic’s legislative and executive powers.

Addressing the Karabakh settlement under the OSCE’s aegis–Yesayan pointed out that this process is currently proceeding slowly. Yesayan–however–didn’t exclude the possibility that this process could be more intense after the presidential election in Azerbaijan.

Although Karabakh’s defense army is the major guarantor of the republic’s security–the speaker considers it to be insufficient–pointing out the need for international guarantees.

The peace march started on July 6 in Yasnaya Poliana and will end in Nepal after passing through Russia–Ukraine–North Caucasus–Transcaucasus–a number of countries in Middle Asia and the Middle East.

The head of the delegation–a Buddhist monk from Japan Junsei Terasawa explained the goals of the march. According to him–the participants are appealing to all people to reject wars–come into the 21th century without violence and create a new–non-military security system.

He reported that an international peace congress timed with the 100th anniversary of the first international peace conference will be held in the Hague under the aegis of the United Nations in May–1999.

The participants of the march–intend to carry the voices of the victims of conflicts to the conference–contribute to the creation of a civil peace movement–and contribute to the superiority of the law over weapons.

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