Oskanian Rejects Azeri Idea for Karabagh

WARSAW (Armenpress)–Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian rejected on Monday Azeri president Ilham Aliyev’s proposal to grant Karabagh "the highest status of autonomy." Talking to correspondents in Warsaw on the sideline of a Council of Europe summit–Oskanian said autonomy is "a stage which is over" for the Armenia’s of Karabagh.

"They had this autonomy as part of Azerbaijan under the Soviet Union and were discriminated against by the Azerbaijani authorities," Oskanian said.

He also criticized Aliyev for saying that Armenia has occupied Azerbaijan’s territory. "Armenia had to intervene after Azerbaijan waged a war against the peaceful population of Karabagh in their drive towards self-determination," he said. "We are conducting talks with Azerbaijan today only because the authorities of this country strongly reject any contact with the Nagorno Karabagh authorities."

He described as "positive" the meeting between the Armenian and Azeri presidents–which took place in Warsaw on May 15. Oskanian expressed hope that bilateral efforts aimed at finding a long-term solution to the Karabagh conflict would continue.

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