Karabakh Addresses Azeri Negative Ad Campaign

STEPANAKERT (Noyan Tapan)–In connection with the notes and statemen’s circulated by the AzeriForeign Ministry to international organizations and aimed at hampering Karabakh’s political–social and economic development–the Karabakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement.

It is pointed out in the statement that in defiance of the international community’s diplomatic efforts aimed at settling the Karabakh conflict–the Azeri authorities regularly made attempts which raise obstacles to communication in the region and–and in the long run–to the establishment of peace and stability.

"The statement of the Azeri Foreign Ministry on February 15 made in connection with Karabakh’s government measures to attract foreign capital to the local economy claims that the Karabakh economic development program is aimed at attracting investors to `the occupied territories,’ meant to produce a negative impact on the peace process.

Karabakh’s Foreign Ministry expresses its confidence that this claim can easily be disproved by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen as well as by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Acting Chairman who are well-informed of the real situation in the region."

Furthermore–the Karabakh Foreign Ministry statement says that "during the last year strenuous efforts have been made in Karabakh to maintain social stability–stregthen law and order–create favorable conditions for the development of entrepreneurship–which promoted the interest of serious foreign financial and industrial circles in Nagorno Karabakh. The reaon for the call on international investment being that no other nation–except for Armenia and the US–render Karabakh any assistance in settling humanitarian problems."

"In its statemen’s and memorandums (July 1998–April 1999) the Karabakh Foreign Ministry has drawn the attention of relevant international organizations to the rousing of anti-Armenian sentimen’s and xenophobia in Azerbaijan. Despite the fact that–according to the OSCE mediatory mission–Azeri authorities pointed to the inadmissibility of such a campaign–the anti-Armenian campaign in Azerbaijan is gaining in strength."

Based on such harsh words the statement asks,"how does Azerbaijan imagine the peaceful settlement of the Karabaklh conflict?"How under the current conditions can the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen hope for any success of their mission?"

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