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Azerbaijan: President Urges NATO Role In Karabakh Dispute

Madrid, 9 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Azerbaijan's President Heidar Aliyev is urging NATO to play an active role in finding a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

In a speech today in Madrid at a meeting of heads of state and government of the new Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), Aliyev said he counts on the active role of NATO and the EAPC. He said they "should not be indifferent observers to the conflicts in the Caucasus." The EAPC brings together NATO states, the 27 members of NATO's 'Partnership for Peace' program, and Tajikistan.

At the session, Aliyev criticized Armenia. He said that because of what he called Yerevan's non-constructive position on Nagorno Karabakh, "the efforts of the OSCE Minsk group have not produced desirable results yet."

However he expressed the hope that Russia, the United States and France, as co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) negotiating team on Karabakh, could achieve a peace agreement, and ensure durable peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.