Karabakh Conflict on Agenda for May Talks

ANKARA (AFP)–The long-running dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the tiny enclave of Nagorno Karabakh will be on the agenda of talks on the sidelines of a ministerial NATO meeting next month–Azerbaijan’s President Heydar Aliev said Tuesday.

The issue will be discussed by foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as Turkey in Reykjavik on May 15-16–Aliev said at the end of a two-day summit in northern Turkey–the Anatolia news agency reported.

Aliev said Baku wanted armed Armenian militants to leave the region and allow the return to their homeland of some one million Azeri refugees who were forced out of the enclave. "We have no objections to these meetings if they are going to be useful in achieving these," Aliev told a press conference after the summit in northern Turkey between the Azerbaijani–Turkish and Georgian leaders.

Turkey has close ethnic bonds with Turkish-speaking Azerbaijan–but has refused to establish diplomatic ties with Armenia due to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict as well as Yerevan’s campaign for the recognition as "genocide" of the killings of Armenia’s during the Ottoman empire.

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