BAKU (Combined Sources)–British Broadcasting Corporation’s Yerevan reporter–Karen Topchian interviewed Azeri President Haydar Aliyev–who had not met with an Armenian journalist since the beginning of the Karabakh conflict more than ten years ago.
In the interview Topchian touched upon several key issues in the conflict resolution process. Aliyev maintained Azerbaijan’s pre conditions to the negotiating process–accusing Armenia of not cooperating with the Minsk Group’s proposals as conditions to the peace talks.
Aliyev–to the question whether his administration would give Karabakh administrative and territorial self-determination–sarcastically pointed out that the Karabakh republic is not really an independent state. Aliyev insisted that Karabakh would remain within Azeri borders–with a high level of self-rule. At the same time–he pointed out several cases of similar cases–without giving any specific details pertaining to Karabakh.
On the subject of Armenian President Robert Kocharian–Aliyev maintained that he was willing to cooperate with him–citing his meetings with him in the past as a basis for his desire.
Using the interview as a promotional tool for the upcoming presidential elections–Aliyev referred to the internal opposition’s ideas of military action if the peace process continues to be deadlocked. He stated that the opposition is misguided and the claimed that he believed that any military action in relation to Karabakh would be madness. H concluded saying that the was certain that neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan would resort to military action.