TODAY.AZ / Politics

Oskanian 'reassured' by Karabakh mediators over UN role

27 September 2006 [23:57] - TODAY.AZ
International mediators have all but dispelled Armenian concerns about the United Nations’s involvement in the Nagorno Karabakh peace process sought by Azerbaijan, Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said after meeting them late Tuesday.

Speaking to RFE/RL from New York, he confirmed shunning his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in retaliation for the Karabakh issue's inclusion on the UN General Assembly. The two men were due to meet in the presence of the French, Russian and U.S. co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on the sidelines of the assembly's ongoing session.

"The meeting [with Mammadyarov] was cancelled at our initiative because we found it necessary to clarify the situation to see what possible developments might unfold there," he said. "This is what was done at my meeting [with the co-chairs].

"In that sense, I am satisfied with explanations given to me. We now have a better idea of the situation and will make an appropriate decisions as to what our next steps are."

Oskanian added that Yerevan still has some unanswered questions regarding the UN's role in the peace process and expects the mediators to address them in the coming weeks. "I can say for sure that there will be more separate meetings with the co-chairs," he said. "I don't rule out their visit to the region. Also possible -- and desirable -- is the resumption of direct negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan both at the ministerial and presidential levels."

Presidents Ilham Aliev and Robert Kocharian plan to attend a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States which is scheduled to take place in Belarus next month. Officials in Baku and Yerevan have not ruled out the possibility of their encounter on the fringes of the summit. RFE/RL


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