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Azerbaijan: Aliyev Wants OSCE To Draft New Peace Proposals

Baku, 24 February 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev said today he will request that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) draft new proposals to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Co-chaired by France, the United States, and Russia, the OSCE Minsk Group has drafted three peace proposals since 1997. All of them have been described as "unacceptable" by the Azerbaijani leadership.

Speaking before parliament at the end of a two-day debate on the existing peace plans, Aliyev said Azerbaijan "cannot do without the Minsk Group or the OSCE because there is no other means to solve the conflict."

Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said yesterday that Yerevan and Baku are unlikely to sign a peace deal soon.

Aliyev and Armenian President Robert Kocharian are expected to meet in Paris early next month for a new round of talks on the conflict over Karabakh, a mostly ethnic Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan.