Aliyev Says No Compromise on Karabagh Conflict; Azeri FM More Cautiously Optimistic

BAKU (Armenpress/Pan-Armenian)–The president of Azerbaijan–Ilham Aliyev–said on Wednesday that Azerbaijan was not going to make concessions in the attempting to settle the the Karabagh conflict. Aliyev made the statement during a stroll in Baku in response to questions from the crowd–Russian Interfax said.

"Nagorno-Karabagh is our land; it belongs to us historically and we have to liberate it by using all available means. We have to become stronger and make our army stronger," he said.

Aliyev had earlier received the OSCE chairman-in-office Karel De Gucht who went to Baku after visiting Armenia.

But Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov had a different take on the situation–after meeting with his Armenian counterpart Vartan Oskanian last week.

Mammadyarov told journalists that they had discussed "basic principles of [a] settlement of the Nogorno Karabagh conflict," and revealed that though the talks were "very hard," the two had "managed to agree on some key issues."

He also said that it is difficult to tell if there will be a breakthrough in negotiations at a meeting between Armenian and Azeri presidents–scheduled to take place in Paris February 10-11. "Much depends on how we can pave the way on the key issues discussed."

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