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Armenia/Azerbaijan: Consent Of All Needed For Peace

Yerevan, 17 October 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A spokesman for Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan says Yerevan will accept any peace accord that would "satisfy both Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan."

Spokesman Levon Zurabian said at a news conference in Yervan yesterday that "the consent of all sides" to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is needed for peace to be established in the region.

Zurabian said that this statement does not represent a pro-Azerbaijani change in Armenia's position on resolving the conflict. He said that Armenia will not sign any document unless it is signed by the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. He said Armenia will not impose any solution on Stepanakert, but that Nagorno-Karabakh itself should decide on the limits of its self-government.

Commenting on Ter-Petrossyan's meetings at the Council of Europe summit in Strasbourg last week, Zurabian said presidents Boris Yeltsin of Russia and Jacques Chirac of France "agreed" with Ter-Petrossyan that the proposed Moscow peace talks "will be fruitful only with the participation of Nagorno-Karabakh."

Zurabian also said Chirac and Yeltsin agreed to jointly assist Armenia with its nuclear energy programs but gave no details.

Zurabian said that France "fully backs" Armenia's bid for full membership in the Council of Europe. Armenia as well as the two other Transcaucasian states currently has special guest status within the Council of Europe.