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09/01/2004
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1) Leading Kurds Warn Fighting Could Harm Turkey's EU Prospects
2) Mountainous Karabagh Celebrates 13th Year of Independence
3) ICG To Qualify Javakhk Conflict In Upcoming Report
4) Kocharian, Aliyev Likely Meet Following Meeting of FMs

1) Leading Kurds Warn Fighting Could Harm Turkey's EU Prospects

ANKARA (AFP)--Leading Kurdish activist Leyla Zana and three fellow politicians
warned Wednesday that continued clashes between Kurdish rebels and the army
could derail Turkey's bid to join the European Union.
"Society is fed up with violence...It is time to say 'enough is enough' to
suffering, tears, and mourning," the four former parliament members said in a
statement.
Zana and her colleagues--Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak, and Orhan Dogan--have
appealed to Kurdish militants to lay down their arms since they were released
in June after a decade in jail, pending a review of their 1995 sentences for
aiding the armed rebellion against Ankara.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), now known as KONGRA-GEL, called
off a five-year unilateral ceasefire on June 1, raising tensions in the mainly
Kurdish southeast which had been mostly calm during the truce period.
Since then, the group has been blamed for a series of deadly attacks in the
region as well as the bombing of two hotels in Istanbul last month, which left
two dead and 11 injured.
EU leaders will assess Turkey's progress towards greater democracy in
December
before deciding whether to set a date to open membership talks.
"Though it is a very low possibility, if a date for accession negotiations is
not given because of the clashes, the moral responsibility of this will be
enormous," the four activists said. "That is why it is very important that
arms
are silenced."
They argued that it would be easier to resolve the Kurdish question if Turkey
came closer to the EU.
"The attitudes and contributions of the EU member states will be as important
as the attitudes of Kurds and Turks in the acceleration of the process," they
said.
Turkey has undertaken several major reforms to broaden the cultural freedoms
of its Kurdish minority as part of its campaign for EU membership.
Some 37,000 people have been killed in fighting between the PKK and the army
since 1984 when the rebels took up arms for self-rule in the southeast.


2) Mountainous Karabagh Celebrates 13th Year of Independence

STEPANAKERT (ARMENPRESS)--In a message delivered on the occasion of the 13th
anniversary of the independence of Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR),
President Arkady Ghukasian focused on steps being taken to advance the
economic, social, and cultural development of the country.
While speaking about the progress made by the government, Ghukasian stated,
"The recent municipal elections served to once more display the MKR
population's and government's commitment to promoting and strengthening
democracy in an effort to create a truly civil society."
Recognizing the important role assumed by the Armenian Diaspora in Karabagh's
reconstruction
Ghukasian said he is confident that the Diaspora will play even a more
significant role in efforts to secure international recognition for MKR.
Ghukasian referred to the military exercises held this last August as proof
that the country's armed forces are willing and capable of defending
themselves
against foreign aggressors. He, nonetheless, moved on to confirm the
government's intention to seek a peaceful solution to the Mountainous Karabagh
conflict.
Ghukasian concluded his message by stating, "No one can take away the freedom
and independence, which have been gained through extreme sacrifice."
Several Armenian officials and dignitaries, including President Robert
Kocharian and Prime Minister Andranik Margarian forwarded congratulatory
messages to MKR, extending their support for the republic.
"The Mountainous Karabagh Republic is still devoted to the principle of a
peaceful settlement it has adopted, but is resolute to resist any encroachment
jeopardizing its self-governance. The heroic people of Karabagh must be
confident that the Republic of Armenia and all the Armenian people are a
reliable defender of their innermost dreams," stated Margarian's message.


3) ICG To Qualify Javakhk Conflict In Upcoming Report

AKHALKALAK (Noyan Tapan)--International Crisis Group (ICG) senior analyst
Filip
Noubel, was in Akhalkalak August 30-31, to clarify whether recent tensions in
Javakhk are inter-ethnic related or are conflicts between the center and
region, as proposed by Georgia.
An upcoming ICG report on Javakhk will likely peg the conflict as an
inter-ethnic one, reported the local A-Info news agency.
The ICG is an independent, non-profit, multinational organization, with over
100 staff members on five continents, working through field-based analysis and
high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.
Its teams of political analysts are located within or close by countries at
risk of outbreak, escalation, or recurrence of violent conflict. Based on
information and assessments from the field, ICG produces regular analytical
reports containing practical recommendations targeted at key international
decision-takers. ICG also publishes CrisisWatch, a 12-page monthly bulletin,
providing a succinct regular update on the state of play in all the most
significant situations of conflict or potential conflict around the world.


4) Kocharian, Aliyev Likely Meet Following Meeting of FMs

PRAGUE (CTK/RFE-RL)--Various approaches to a peaceful resolution to the
Armenian-Azeri conflict over Mountainous Karabagh were discussed by the
foreign
ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Vartan Oskanian and Elmar Mammadyarov, in
Prague on Monday.
The French, Russian, and US co-chairs of the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group also attended the day-long
meeting. It
was the first face-to-face encounter between Oskanian and Mammadyarov since
the
envoys' visit to the conflict zone last month.
"We are continuing what we began at our first meeting," Oskanian said
during a
break in the talks. "Our main objective is to create a common basis on
which we
could build during further negotiations. We are working toward that objective
and I can't say we have achieved it," he added.
Asked whether the two sides have made any progress in the last few months, he
said: "It's a bit early to speak of common approaches. But the dialogue is
useful."
Oskanian revealed that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan will likely
meet next in Astana, Kazakhstan, during a meeting of CIS heads of state.
Only pieces of information about the results of the Prague meeting were
proved
to the press, though according to available reports, the talks did not have a
precise agenda.
While touring Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Mountainous Karabagh in late July, the
OSCE mediators openly criticized the conflicting parties for their perceived
intransigence, bluntly stating that the burden is on the sides, not the Minsk
Group, to push the protracted peace process forward.
The Prague meeting was the fourth between Oskanian and Mammadyarov; the
previous talks were held in June, also in Prague.


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