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Armenia/Azerbaijan: France To Send Karabakh Negotiating Team

By Roland Eggleston and Kitty McKinsey

Munich, 3 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - France this week is to send a team to the Caucasus to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute with all parties.

At a meeting in Copenhagen last week, the three co-chairs of the dead-locked negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute agreed more preparations are necessary before negotiations can resume. The co-chairs -- Russia, the United States and France -- met for two days in Copenhagen to discuss what can be done to revive negotiations, which have been suspended since the end of last year.

France and the United States are the new co-chairs of the negotiations, along with Russia, which holds the post permanently. The French team is to be led by its chief negotiator, Georges Vaugier.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which sponsors the negotiations, arranged a ceasefire in May 1994, but has been unable to to convert it into a permanent settlement.

In Washington last week, Armenia's Foreign Minister Alexandre Arzoumanian said he is confident the United States can help find a solution to the Karabakh dispute this year.