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Armenia/Azerbaijan: Lebanon Supports Nagorno Independence

Yerevan, 16 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri says that he supports the right of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh to live on its own territory.

He said that if the population of Nagorno-Karabakh voted for independence in a U.N.-sponsored referendum, then Lebanon would recognize the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Nagorno-Karabakh unilaterally proclaimed its independence from Azerbaijan in 1991. but has not been formally recognized by any other country.

Berri was speaking at a press conference in Yerevan yesterday at the end of a three-day official visit to Armenia. During the visit, he met with Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossian and parliament speaker Babken Ararktsyan.

Both sides said that there are no problems in their bilateral relations and expressed readiness for further cooperation. Armenia further pledged to support U.N. resolution 425 that calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon.