Oskanian Holds ‘Useful’ Talks with Azeri Counterpart

PRAGUE (RFE-RL)–After a meeting in Prague on Monday with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mamedyarov–Vartan Oskanian noted that the talks were "useful" for the long-running international efforts to resolve the Mountainous Karabagh conflict.

"The process is continuing. I cannot state at this point that we have reached any concrete agreemen’s. However–we find the overall course positive," Oskanian commented shortly after the meeting–which included the participation of the French–Russian–and US mediators of the OSCE Minsk Group

Although Oskanian did not provide any new details about the ongoing peace negotiations–he did confirm Mamedyarov–who earlier stated that the two sides have begun considering the option of combining the resolution strategies utilized by both sides of the conflict. Reports have made clear that the Azerbaijani side wants a "step-by-step" plan that would indefinitely put off an agreement on Karabagh’s status–while the Armenian side remains resolute in its desire of a single "package" accord.

"The course and nature of the negotiations is such that one should really opt for a synthesis of the two different positions," Oskanian said. But he added that Karabagh’s status–the bone of contention–must somehow be addressed under any compromise arrangement. "That synthesis should not be radically different from our emphasis on Karabagh’s status," he stated.

Oskanian once again denied speculations of the imposition of a US-backed plan that requires the hand-over of three of the seven Armenian-controlled districts around Karabagh. "There is no concrete proposal. There are just general discussions and nothing is being imposed on any of the parties," he said–commenting on his high-level talks in Washington earlier this month.


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