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Armenia: Karabakh Parliament To Discuss OSCE Peace Plan

Stepanakert, 6 November 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The parliament of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh will convene for an emergency session in the next few days. It will discuss the latest peace plan put forward by the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group that sponsors negotiations to settle the conflict with Azerbaijan.

The decision was made today at a special meeting of parliament's presidium that took place at the demand of a group of parliament deputies who oppose the plan. Some presidium members strongly criticized Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossian for his support of the plan that envisages a phased settlement of the conflict.

In an article printed in the Armenian press last Saturday, Ter-Petrossian said Stepanakert's rejection of the phased plan embarassed both Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia on the international arena. Ter-Petrossian reiterated that the disputed region's outright independence from Azerbaijan is not feasible, and called for a step-by-step solution whereby a decision on Nagorno-Karabakh's status will be delayed until the last phase of the peace process.

Meanwhile, Nagorno-Karabakh President Arkadii Ghukasian today reaffirmed his preference to the so-called package approach that seeks to resolve all the key contentious issues in a single framework agreement. A Nagorno-Karabakh parliament deputy who asked not to be identified told RFE/RL that "Karabakh has its own clear position on the issue, and Yerevan must reckon with it."