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Armenia/Azerbaijan: Presidents Discuss Karabakh Peace Talks

Istanbul/Paris, 28 April 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev met in Istanbul today, on the sidelines of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Conference (BSEC).

The two leaders discussed efforts to restart peace talks in the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkish President Suleyman Demirel told reporters before the encounter that the aim was to "try to achieve peace in the Caucasus."

The BSEC conference, which begins later today in Istanbul, brings together the presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. Its primary aim is to boost cooperation and bring more international investment to the Black Sea region.

Meanwhile, in Paris, negotiators from the United States, Russia and France are scheduled to discuss new peace initiatives for Nagorno-Karabakh. The three countries are co-chairs of the international group trying to help end the dispute over the mostly Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan.