Kocharian Oskanian Comment on Publication of Confidential Documents

YEREVAN (combined sources)–After Thursday’s government session President Kocharian was asked why the Azerbaijani authorities have breached the principle of confidentiality and leaked the confidential information about the proposals on the Karabakh conflict settlement. Kocharian responded by saying the move was unexpected and not understandable.

"The documen’s published in the Azerbaijani press is the history of the conflict regulation but not its present. We have not negotiated on these options for at least a year and a half. I cannot say what goals it was pursuing," Kocharian said. He also said that the number of people having the full information about the regulation process is very limited. "When there will be specific agreemen’s our people will be informed about them," he said.

Referring to the outcome of his negotiations with Aliyev in Paris Kocharian said they were constructive and interesting. "President Chirac was participating with us in the discussion of minor details," Kocharian said adding that Chirac is having active consultations with Russia’s Putin. Kocharian also praised Armenian-Russian relations describing them as "very good". He said President Putin will visit Armenia in the second half of May to participate in the CIS Security Council session.

On the following day–Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian told reporters that Kocharian and Aliyev have not yet reached any verbal agreement on the Karabakh settlement issue. He contradicted the statement of his Azeri counterpart that the presidents have reached an agreement. Oskanian emphasized that the process is continuing–and that a new meeting between Kocharian and Aliyev will be held soon.

The minister expressed his bewilderment over the debates and hearings held in the Azeri parliament regarding proposals on the Karabakh settlement–as no negotiations on any of these documen’s are being held at the moment and the positions have not been brought closer together. The goal of publishing the documen’s is still unclear to the Armenian side.

Oskanian said that the OSCE Minsk Group has not yet responded to the publication of the documen’s. The Minsk Group is known to have notified the sides that the documen’s were confidential until a final position was agreed on and that it would be incorrect to make them public. The minister called senseless to hold similar discussions in Armenia’s parliament: "There is no document yet to be signed in the near future."

Vartan Oskanian also pointed out that the publication of documen’s by Armenia is the result of their publication in Azerbaijan the previous day. Armenia informed the Minsk Group about it–stressing that since it was done in Azerbaijan–then "we find it necessary to make the contents of the documen’s public in our country too."

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