Oskanian Discusses Karabakh

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– "The OSCE Minsk Group’s recent proposals on the Karabakh problem are really new and different from the previous ones both in content and procedural sense," Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian said in his TV interview.

The minister noted that the major procedural difference is the issue of Karabakh’s status–which is of top priority–and "other issues are just part of the package."

Oskanian regarded the fact that the proposals don’t contain any preconditions as an essential difference. According to the minister–new proposals enable the parties to the conflict to negotiate a status which would establish horizontal relations between Azerbaijan and Karabakh while the previous ones excluded such a possibility. Under those proposals Armenia and Karabakh were obliged to recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan.

At the same time the minister stressed that if approved by all the parties to the conflict–the proposals should be taken as a basis for negotiations–and much is to be done. Despite the information about Azerbaijan’s negative attitude towards the proposals–Oskanian didn’t rule out the possibility of Azerbaijan’s changing its position and taking the proposals as a basis for the negotiations.

Oskanian described as not quite right the statemen’s that the new proposals are the combination of statuses of Andorra and New Caledonia. The minister said that "it is quite a new approach and can become a new precedent for finding solutions to conflicts."

"I can’t accept the allegation that it was done deliberately and is doomed to failure," the minister said. He expressed conviction that "the co-chairman is sure of this way to be correct and it is the non-standard approach that is the key solution to the problem. This approach was reflected in the idea of a common state."

Oskanian didn’t agree with the opinion that the Minsk Group’s new proposals are the result of the pressure exerted on President Aliyev by the international community. "I think that Armenia’s foreign policy over recent six months played an important role in this issue as we could show the solution to the problem in this non-standard approach," the Foreign Minister said.

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