STEPANAKERT–According to NKR Deputy Foreign Minister Ashot Ghoulian–the issue of Karabakh’s participation in the negotiations still remains a "psychological complex for Azerbaijan." Despite the Azerbaijani position–it is quite obvious that the international community regards the issue of Karabakh’s participation seriously–realizing that at a certain stage of the negotiations the further course of events will depend on what part of the responsibility the NKR takes.
The positions of the international community (in the person of the OSCE and the Co-Chairmen of its Minsk Group) were made clear before the beginning of the meetings in Florida. The OSCE Secretariat disseminated special information for the press–in which for the first time the NKR is mentioned as one of the regions of the Southern Caucasus without mentioning any connection with Azerbaijan.
The US State Department released a fact sheet on the prehistory of the negotiations–and the positions of the parties to the conflict. The fact sheet stresses that the Co-Chairmen’s position is well-defined regarding the fact that the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh must certainly be involved in the negotiation process and the position of its people is to be taken into account. This standpoint was also confirmed by US Secretary of State Colin Powel in Key West.
This information–according to the NKR foreign ministry–means that without the decisive word of the people of Karabakh and its authorities–the mediators do not envision a final settlement of the problem. "One should not forget that the mediators–as well as the other parties concerned–understand that the basis for preserving the 7-year armistice is the just participation of all three parties in the negotiations," said Ghoulian.