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Aliev: Karabakh Must Remain Azerbaijan's

25 August 2004 -- Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliev today reiterated that the breakaway ethnic Armenian province of Nagorno-Karabakh must remain a part of his country.

Aliev made the comments in Berlin, where he met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Aliev said ethnic Armenians are welcome to live in Azerbaijan, but only under the control of the central government.

Schroeder said at a news conference after their meeting that he and Aliev agree the dispute over the enclave should be resolved peacefully:

"The president (Aliev) and I agree that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved by political means, and Germany will continue to support your (Aliev's) efforts [to reach a political settlement] within the framework of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe]," Schroeder said.

Armenian-backed forces won control of Nagorno-Karabakh after fighting that ended with a 1994 cease-fire. Internationally mediated efforts have so far failed to find a final settlement for the
territory, which is still claimed by Azerbaijan.