Aliyev Wants New OSCE Principles for Karabakh Peace

BAKU (Itar-Tass)–The OSCE Minsk Group for Nagorno-Karabakh should work out new proposals on how to settle the Karabakh conflict so that they could be accepted by both sides–Azeri President Haydar Aliyev said.

During his meeting with OSCE Chairman in Office Knut Vollebaek on Saturday–Aliyev said new proposals should be prepared by November 1999 when the OSCE heads of state are expected to meet in Istanbul so that the summit could make a decision facilitating the peace process.

Once again Aliyev rejected the principle of a "common state" proposed by the Minsk Group in November of 1998 as the basis for the settlement of the conflict.

He reiterated that this principle is a disguised form of independence for Nagorno-Karabakh. The president criticized the Minsk Group–whose co-chairmen are Russia–the United States and France–for lack of action in the last year.

Aliyev stressed that direct talks with Armenian President Robert Kocharian cannot justify the Minsk Group’s sitting on the fence.

"We agreed to direct talks in order to use all possible means to settle the conflict. But this does not mean that the Minsk Group should back down," he said.

The president confirmed his readiness to make compromises.

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