MKR President Says Karabagh Independence Pivotal

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR) President Arkady Ghukasian met with OSCE Chairman Karel De Gucht in Yerevan.

Following the Tuesday meeting–Ghukasian told reporters that it provided the opportunity for Karabagh’s leadership to express its position on the conflict settlement.

Ghukasian said he stressed that maintaining Karabagh’s independence is pivotal.

Gucht apparently told the Karabagh president that he is optimistic about certain advances in 2006.

"I respect that optimism," Ghukasian said. "If the OSCE chairman-in-office is not optimistic–it would make no sense to get engaged in the settlement of a conflict."

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