Kocharian Says International Community Should Help Find Solution to Karabakh Conflict

YEREVAN (Armenpress–Noyan Tapan)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian told a crowded hall in a Yerevan business school on Thursday that the international community should help the conflicting sides to find a solution because Armenia and Azerbaijan have exhausted all possibilities and are unable to agree on a peace deal single-handedly.

"Today we have reached a point where we understand each other’s concerns well–but I also think that we have exhausted or are close to exhausting the potential of our tte–tte meetings," Kocharian said.

Kocharian on Wednesday dismissed calls for the military option–saying that "He who starts a war will lose it."We have no plans to start a war but do have the capacity to strike hard."

Kocharian also did not rule out the possibility that the Florida talks will be followed by a similar high-level meeting in Moscow:

"If there is need for yet another meeting–then that meeting is likely to be held in Moscow." He repeated the Armenian position that under any peace accord Karabakh must have a status "equal" to Azerbaijan’s–an overland link with Armenia and firm security guarantees.

Kocharian accounted for the current atmosphere’s being more favorable for compromises by the fact that Azerbaijan failed in its expectations to leave Armenia behind in economic development due to its oil resources and put pressure on Armenia by means of its oil lobby. Meanwhile–it should be noted that the GDP for a person is adequate in Armenia and Azerbaijan and Section 907 is still in force. Azerbaijan also failed in its attempt to give a religious coloring to the conflict and exert pressure on Armenia with the help of Moslem countries.

Galoust Sahakian–the leader of the Miasnutyun block in parliament and a senior member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Aghvan Vardanian confirmed on Thursday that the positions of the block and the party over the April 3 scheduled meeting between Armenia’s Kocharian and Azerbaijan’s Aliyev coincide.

"This will be a recurrent face-to-face talks between the two leaders," they said–but did not rule out that a similar meeting might be held in Moscow as well.

"I believe that to reach a certain point in the negotiations all the details of a possible peace plan should be discussed in the parliament and also by the public," Vardanian said–expressing hope the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs will submit to the approval of the sides any regulation option.

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