Minsk Group Co Chairmen to Visit Region

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group co-chairmen are expected to visit the region between November 9 and 11–presidential spokesman–Vahe Gabrielian said at a briefing Tuesday. He expressed optimism that the co-chairmen would make new and constructive proposals to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Gabrielian confirmed the willingness of the Armenian authorities to find a fair solution to the Karabakh problem as soon as possible.

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Arkady Ghoukassian pinned much hope on the upcoming new round of the OSCE Minsk Group shuttle diplomacy.

In an interview with "Hayastani Hanrapetutyun," Ghoukassian said Stepanakert expected "concrete proposals" from the mediators.

"Perhaps not all of them will be welcome and acceptable but it is essential that they serve as a basis for peace talks." He predicts that the Minsk Group co-chairs will this time come up with a "neutral variant," continued Ghoukassian

Nonetheless–he added–the "main problems [underlying the Karabakh conflict] must be addressed through trilateral negotiations."

Ghoukassian again criticized Azerbaijan for its refusal to attend hearings on the conflict–earlier planned by the Council of Europe.

By extending a separate invitation to the Karabakh authorities–the human rights organization "accepts the existence of a third party to the conflict."

"The Council of Europe should not enable Azerbaijan to delay this issue." The Karabakh leader complained that Baku was ready to negotiate face-to-face with Stepanakert only behind closed doors and "avoids" open meetings.

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