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Armenia/Azerbaijan: Nagorno-Karabakh Considered 'Positive'

Moscow, 1 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Negotiations seeking to resolve the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh are continuing in Moscow today, in what's being described as a positive atmosphere.

The Nagorno-Karabakh talks are sponsored by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with Russia, the U.S. and France co-chairing the meetings.

Karabakh Foreign Minister Arkady Ghukasian told RFE/RL there is no pressure on the negotiators from the co-chairmen of the Minsk Group. He said the negotiating group was significantly strengthened when France and the United States agreed to join Russia as the co-chairmen of the OSCE group.

The talks are seen as crucial for finding a permanent solution to the conflict, which erupted in 1988, when ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh declared sovereignty. The OSCE arranged a ceasefire in 1994, but there has been little progress towards a permanent settlement.