Oskanian Holds Press Conference after Meeting with Azeri Counterpart

YEREVAN (Armenpress/RFE-RL)–Foreign Affairs Minister Vartan Oskanian revealed during a press conference on Wednesday that 2005 could prove to be decisive for the resolution of the Mountainous Karabagh conflict.

"The second phase of the Prague process will be qualitatively different from the previous phases," he said–referring to his face-to-face meeting with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on Tuesday.

"A serious political will and consistency must be displayed here. The year will be quite intensive," he told a news conference Yerevan.

Without divulging details about his meeting with Mammadyarov and separate talks with international mediators also held in Prague on Tuesday–Oskanian said that the conflicting parties have yet to reach a full agreement on "the framework of issues" that have been the main subject of their discussions since last spring.

Noting that the Azeri press very often releases inaccurate information–Oskanian stressed–"We have entered a more serious round in the negotiation process and in order not to put the other side in a difficult position we must be careful in our statemen’s."

Mammadyarov was similarly reserved in publicly commenting about the meeting. "We are happy with the current level of discussions," Azeri media quoted him as saying. "The main result of the meeting is that the parties agreed to continue negotiations in a positive spirit."


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