Ex Soviet Breakaway Regions Discuss Cooperation in Karabakh

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The Nagorno-Karabakh authorities hosted a meeting on July 2-3 of senior officials from four unrecognized republics of the former Soviet Union which seek to promote their multilateral ties to offset the lack of full international recognition. The foreign ministers of Karabakh–the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia–and the Transdniester Republic which is seeking independence from Moldova began a two-day session in Stepanakert–focusing on internationally sponsored peace efforts in their areas.

The parties were briefing each other on recent developmen’s in their respective conflicts with Azerbaijan–Georgia and Moldova–Karabakh officials said. The four entities–which fought successful secessionist wars in the 1990s–are due to issue a joint communiqu on July 3–pledging greater cooperation in the international arena.

The president of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–Arkady Ghoukasian–described the meeting as "important." But speaking to RFE/RL–he stressed that the long-running conflicts in the four former Soviet republics have major historical and political differences and therefore require different solutions.

Also on the agenda of the talks is the creation of a joint "information center" meant to facilitate the exchange of information among the entities. The officials also discussed the possibility of establishing direct commercial links. The four breakaway territories–which have enjoyed de-facto independence for the past decade–reject offers of conventional autonomy repeatedly made by the authorities in Baku–Tbilisi and Chisinau. They instead favor the creation of loose confederations with the former metropolies.

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