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Armenia/Azerbaijan: OSCE To Rekindle Nagorno-Karabakh Talks

Yerevan, 6 March 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said during a visit to the Armenian capital that a group of international negotiators will soon present new proposals aimed at reviving talks over the status of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Jaime Gama, who is also Portugal's foreign minister, made the comment yesterday but did not elaborate on the plans.

The OSCE's Minsk group will deliver the proposals regarding the disputed, mainly ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan to the region next week.

Gama met yesterday with Armenian President Robert Kocharian as well as with Arkady Ghukasian, the president of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Kocharian has said the exclave, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow, will never be a part of Azerbaijan.

Backed by Armenia, separatists won control of the disputed enclave and some adjacent regions of Azerbaijan in a 1988-94 war. The conflict led to the deaths of more than 30,000 people and drove 1 million people from their homes.