Gasparian Strikes Back

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenia again stressed that a "package solution" must be sought in resolving the Mountainous Karabagh conflict rather than the "step-by-step approach," singled out by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev last week–while he expressed doubts about Armenia’s ability to implement independent policy–saying "Armenia is Russia’s advanced post in South Caucasus."

"Armenia’s position concerning the Karabagh negotiations is clear and hasn’t changed. We once again assure that negotiations in Prague were based on the package solution–and we are ready to continue them as we have stated many times," said Armenia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamlet Gasparian. "If the Azerbaijani side? is confused and doesn’t know with whom to hold the negotiations–we will again have to point to Stepanakert. We hope they know where Mountainous Karabagh is situated."

While the "package solution" proposes settling key problems–including status–security guarantees–and troop withdrawal–with a single–comprehensive agreement–the "step-by-step" approach calls for Armenia to surrender specific buffer zones to Azerbaijan–in exchange of deployment of international peacekeepers in Mountainous Karabagh.

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