OSCE Chairwoman Arrives in Baku

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–After meeting with key Armenian officials in Yerevan–the OSCE head and Austria’s foreign minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner arrived in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku July 18 to continue talk around the Karabakh conflict.

In her meetings with the Azerbaijani leadership–Benita Ferrero-Waldner emphasized the OSCE’s steady commitment to facilitating a long-lasting peace settlement to the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

She expressed her satisfaction that serious efforts by both sides had been made to revive the negotiating process. She called on the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to "take the courageous steps necessary to settle the conflict now–as the final responsibility and the power of decision remains with the two presidents."

In particular–she was encouraged by the renewal of bilateral talks between presidents Aliyev and Kocharian. She emphasized the importance at the present stage of adopting the small but significant confidence-building measures proposed by the OSCE in the economic and military fields.

Ferrero-Waldner said that yesterday’s release of prisoners of war held in Nagorno-Karabakh and Yerevan were important gestures toward reconciliation. Her Personal Representative on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk–witnessed the arrival of the six POWs at a Baku airport this morning.

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