Last OSCE Karabakh Plan Called Compromise for Armenia

YEREVAN (Interfax)–The "common state" principle–offered by the OSCE as the core of a Karabakh settlement–is "the maximum compromise" Armenia is ready to yield–Ara Papian–a spokesman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in an interview with Interfax on Wednesday.

He said that "the last initiative of the Minsk-based OSCE group co-chairmen[ Russia–France–US]–containing the common state principle–is acceptable" for Yerevan as the basis for the start of negotiations.

According to him–this plan can be elaborated through negotiations–"which seem to last long and be difficult." The spokesman explained that in line with the OSCE plan–Karabakh could be a semi-autonomous and fully independent state. "The independence of Karabakh is our long-term objective–but we have given it up for the sake of finding a solution–for the sake of a compromise," Papian said.

He regretted that Azerbaijan had turned down the last OSCE proposal. "Regrettably–Azerbaijan resists any compromise and insists on autonomy–which is unacceptable either for Armenia or for Karabakh," the diplomat said. According to him–any type of autonomy for Karabakh within Azerbaijan without control from any side is impossible. He fears that Azerbaijan’s last steps and its intransigence may make the OSCE member-countries anxious.

According to Papian–Armenia will not object if the Council of Europe hears what Karabakh’s Azeri community has to say on the issue.

On May 25–in Strasbourg–the political commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe opened hearings on Karabakh with representatives of Azerbaijan and its Karabakh community taking part.

The spokesman recalled that "a solution to the Karabakh conflict should be examined within the framework of OSCE rather than in the Council of Europe. The legal format–envisaged by OSCE–regards Azerbaijan–

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