YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–During their meeting in Astana–Kazakhstan–Armenian and Kazakh Presidents Robert Kocharian and Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed the Karabakh settlement. Addressing the issue at a joint news conference–the Kazakh president expressed satisfaction about the direct negotiations between Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Azeri President Heydar Aliyev and expressed optimism that the conflict will finally be resolved.
An official press release issued by the Press Service of the Kazakh president notes that President Nazarbayev "hailed the resumption of high-level contacts between Azerbaijan and Armenia and re-affirmed Kazakhstan’s position based on the Lisbon principles." According to the press release–"peaceful political settlement of the conflict must combine the recognition of territorial integrity of states–inadmissibility of aggressive separatism and the right to self-determination within the territory of existing states."
However–according to Presidential Spokesman Vahe Gabrielian–the Lisbon principles were not mentioned during either the joint news conference nor the two presidents’ private talks on the Karabakh settlement.