Karabakh: Agreement on General Principles Possible in 2006

YEREVAN (YERKIR)–The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process is very different in 2006 than in 1997–before the resignation of then president Levon Ter-Petrosyan–said Giro Manoyan–political director of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau–during a press conference Friday.

"I believe that the first President meant that Armenia will not have to choose. In 2006 some form of an agreement on general principles is possible at best. However–the inadequate conduct of Azerbaijan will bring to naught all efforts of the mediators and the international community," Manoyan said.

The ARF leader underscored that in case an agreement reached by Armenian and Azeri presidents regarding the security of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic did not serve the interests of the Armenia people–the ARF will appeal to the state leaders for explanations "in accordance with the law."

Speaking about the idea of changing the format of the talks–which issues from Azerbaijan–Manoyan stressed–that it was merely a desire of official Baku–which is not a decisive one in this issue.

"The format of the OSCE Minsk Group for the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains the same. At least for the near future," he remarked.

Deputy Foreign Minister of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Masis Mayilian met Thursday with the Field Assistant of Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Gunter Folk.

The Karabakh Foreign Ministry press service told Armenpress that during the meeting Folk presented a report of the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on skirmishes–which took place in the border areas.

As was announced earlier–the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appealed to the Office of the OSCE Personal Representative Chairman-in-Office with a request to conduct a monitoring in border region in order to provide a proper assessment of the situation and to address Azeri accusations regarding wildfires in the areas.

The OSCE mission conducted a series of visits in the border region–as a result of which a corresponding report was prepared–which concluded that the Azeri side was to blame for the arsons.

At present the document is being studied at the Karabakh foreign ministry.

The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs from Russia–the US and France–who are the only international body spearheading efforts to end the Karabakh conflict–are scheduled to meet in Paris in early August to decide on their next steps– Russian cochairman–Yury Merzlyakov–was quoted by Trend news agency as saying in an exclusive interview.

He said the objective of the meeting is to hold consultations on the results of a tour to the region conducted by the recently appointed US cochairman Matthew Bryza.

Merzlyakov said for the time being it was not clear whether they would adopt a resolution after meeting in Paris or whether they would discuss organization of the next round of meetings between the conflict sides.

"We will resolve this issue as soon as we meet. I don’t know what kind of conclusions the US co-chairman may have arrived at. Before our meeting in Paris he will have had more contacts–he will talk to both presidents and in all likelihood he will have some conclusions," he said.

According to some reports–Bryza will pay a two-day visit to Nagorno-Karabakh on 29th of July from Yerevan and then he is to leave for Baku for talks from July 31 to August 1.

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