Aliyev Says Breakthrough Possible in Karabakh Talks

BAKU (Itar-Tass)–Negotiations on the Karabakh settlement have reached a stage that breakthroughs are possible–Azeri President Haydar Aliyev told US Undersecretary of State for the Newly Independent States Stephen Sestanovich Thursday–during a meeting at the presidential palace.

Aliyev noted that the United States had stepped up efforts to settle the Karabakh conflict and hoped for progress in the conflict resolution process.

At the same time–he wished that the Minsk Group–mediating the negotiations–and the United States as a co-chairman of this group–intensified their activities to achieve concrete results before a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe leaders in Istanbul next month.

"This is becoming particularly important with the approaching OSCE summit in Istanbul–" Aliyev stressed.

Aliyev urged the sides to the conflict to seek compromises. The Azeri president said he was sure the people of his country would accept them if they bring about some positive change.

Sestanovich–who is on a working visit to Baku–agreed that the Minsk group and its co-chairmen could contribute to the resolution of the Karabakh conflict but said Azerbaijan and Armenia were fully responsible for taking all decisions.

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