No Karabagh in Settlement Negotiations Stresses Baku

BAKU (Armenpress)–Azeri Foreign Affairs Ministry Press Secretary Meti Mirza told "Interfax" news agency that Azerbaijan categorically rejects Mountainous Karabagh Republic’s participation in negotiating a peace settlement to the conflict.

"It’s a mistake for the Armenian side to give direction on with whom Baku should negotiate," said Mirza responding to Armenia’s Foreign Ministry’s Press Secretary Hamlet Gasparian–who said last week that if Azerbaijan does not deem Armenia capable of implementing independent policy–then they may speak with Mountainous Karabagh directly.

Gasparian was responding to Azeri President Aliyev–who said that Armenia is "Russia’s advanced post in the South Caucasus."

"If the Azerbaijani side?is confused and doesn’t know with whom to hold the negotiations [on Karabagh]–we will again have to point to Stepanakert. We hope they know where Mountainous Karabagh is situated," Gasparian warned.

Calling for negotiations only between Armenia and Azerbaijan for seeking peace in Karabagh–Mirza also stressed: "The Armenian community in Mountainous Karabagh cannot participate in the negotiations with Baku because–as the Azerbaijani community–it sees only a one-sided resolution to the conflict."

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