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Caucasus: Armenia Satisfied With Karabakh Talks

By Harry Tamrazian


Yerevan, 19 July 1999 (RFE/RL) -- Armenian President Robert Kocharian says he is satisfied with Friday's talks with Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev on the disputed region Nagorno-Karabakh.

Kocharian and Aliyev met for two hours on Friday in Geneva. Speaking to reporters on his return to Yerevan on Saturday, he said they had agreed on some issues but declined to say what they were. He said complex issues cannot be solved quickly.

Kocharian said both sides have agreed not to disclose details of the discussions. He said even the three co-chairmen of the OSCE's Minsk group -- the U.S., Russia and France -- have not been informed of what was discussed. The Minsk group was created in 1992 to help find a solution to the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, the mainly ethnic Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan.

Kocharian was asked whether changes are possible in the most recent settlement prepared by the Minsk Group, which has been accepted by Armenia. He said there can be no change in the basic document. The plan proposes the creation of a common state between Azerbaijan and Karabakh. Azerbaijan has said the plan does not recognize its full sovereignty over the region.

Kocharian rejected reports that the talks ended early and that Aliyev was not satisfied. He said there will be another meeting in which representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh will participate.

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