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Azerbaijan: Foreign Minister Says OSCE Failing In Karabakh

Baku, 7 March 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliev said today that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is failing in its efforts to help resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Guliev made the comments at the start of talks in Baku with Jaime Gama, the acting OSCE chairman and Portugal's foreign minister. Guliev said that in the past decade, the OSCE could have achieved better results in resolving the conflict. And he accused the OSCE of taking what he called a "soft position" towards Armenia and "putting its head in the sand."

Azerbaijan and Armenia are involved in a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan.

Diplomats from France, Russia, and the United States -- who represent the Minsk group mandated by the OSCE to mediate in the dispute -- are due in Baku later today and are expected to put forward fresh proposals.

Gama said he believes the new proposals will "reinvigorate" the search for a solution to the dispute.