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Azerbaijan: Autonomy Possible For Karabakh Armenians

Washington, 7 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Azerbaijan's envoy to the United Nations, Eldar Kouliev, says his country is ready to provide the largely Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh the broadest autonomy within Azerbaijan.

But he said yesterday in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York that Azerbaijan will never agree to the seizure of the region or agree to the creation there of what he said would be a second Armenian state.

He recalled that Azerbaijan's President Heydar Aliyev pledged during a visit to the U.N. in August to adhere to a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Armenia over the enclave.

Aliyev also met with U.S. President Bill Clinton in Washington that August. Following that meeting, the two leaders issued a joint statement expressing determination to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict this year.

The Azeri envoy in his address to the U.N. General Assembly today also discussed other issues, including his government's support for the enlargement of the U.N. Security Council and United Nations reforms.