Presidential Spokesman Dismisses Allegation About Secret Accord

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Vahe Gabrielian. spokesman for President Robert Kocharian–dismissed a report by the Azerbaijani Azadlig Daily–reprinted by Armenian papers–which claims a secret peace accord is being prepared between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

According to Azadlig daily–Azerbaijani President Aliyev and Armenian President Kocharian agreed to sign this peace accord during their meeting at the CIS Minsk summit.

The presidents are said to have agreed the accord will not mention the liberation of the occupied lands or the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. The likely content of the accord is the following: after strengthening mutual confidence during the next three to five years–the sides will then start negotiations on liberating the occupied lands and on the status of Nagorno Karabakh.

The accord was apparently discussed during the visit of the cochairman of the OSCE Minsk Group to the region. The daily further claims European Union member states are also aware of the accord. The peace accord will first be discussed and endorsed by the two countries’ parliamen’s–then signed by the presidents.

Vahe Gabrielian said after their meeting in Minsk–Kocharian and Aliyev spoke at a news conference where they did not mention the accord in question. "An accord cannot be secret–as it first should be presented to political parties–parliamen’s and the public and only then can it be signed," said the spokesman.

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