Armenia to Make Peace Proposals

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia will soon unveil its own proposals on how to break the deadlock in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process–an aide to President Robert Kocharian said on Wednesday. "We are going to make new proposals to give a fresh impetus for the resumption of negotiations [on Karabakh]," Aram Sargsian–a presidential adviser for foreign affairs–told a news conference. He refused–however–to specify what those proposals are. "They are ready but I cannot give you details," he said.

The most recent peace plan–put forward by mediators from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe–has been largely approved by Armenia and Karabakh but rejected by Azerbaijan. The plan calls for Azerbaijan and the Armenian-populated disputed territory to form a "common state." Its details have been kept secret though.

Sargsian denied claims by former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan that the current authorities that forced him to resign one year ago have failed to achieve progress in settling the decade-long conflict with Azerbaijan. Sargsian argued that the OSCE’s existing plan is "substantially" better for the Armenian side than the previous one endorsed by Ter-Petrosyan. "Nobody is trying to pressure us," he said–referring to Ter-Petrosyan’s earlier warnings that the international community will eventually pressure the Armenia’s into offering more concessions to Azerbaijan.

Despite periodic rounds of shuttle diplomacy conducted by Russian–US and French negotiators within the OSCE framework–the conflicting parties have not held face-to-face talks since 1996.

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