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Armenia: Diplomats Meet President, Travel To Karabakh

Yerevan, 2 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian, U.S. and French diplomats met with Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosian in Yerevan Saturday in a new effort to reach a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

Ter-Petrosian's press office provided few details of his meeting with Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Pastukhov, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, and French Foreign Ministry official Jacques Blot.

But sources "close to" the Armenian Foreign Ministry told our correspondent that the three brought concrete proposals which would leave Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan but with wide-ranging autonomy.

The diplomats then left for the mostly ethnic-Armenian breakaway region for meetings with its leadership. They were to return to Yerevan before travelling on to Azerbaijan's capital, Baku.

A three-year ceasefire has held in Nagorno-Karabakh, though recent border skirmishes have been reported. But a final settlement has proven illusive.