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Armenia/Azerbaijan: Nagorno-Karabakh Rejects OSCE Proposals

Yerevan, 13 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - A senior Nagorno-Karabakh official said Saturday Nagorno-Karabakh has formally rejected the latest proposals of international negotiators for a solution to the dispute over the mainly ethnic-Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan.

Naira Melkumyan, Nagorno-Karabakh's permanent representative to Armenia, told our correspondent that the step-by-step approach proposed by the OSCE group of mediators is unacceptable for Stepanakert because it fails to address its security concerns.

Under the OSCE plan the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh will be decided after agreement is reached on interim measures. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have said they are in favor of the plan. In a joint statement, released at the Council of Europe summit in Strasbourg yesterday, the presidents of the two countries called the latest OSCE proposals "encouraging." Stepanakert however demands a solution that resolves all issues in one document.

Commenting on Friday's joint statement, Melkumyan said any peace agreement without Nagorno-Karabakh's participation and consent is doomed to failure.