Karabakh leader blames Azerbaijan for destabilizing situation

Regnum, Moscow
30 Mar 05

"Azerbaijan is destabilizing the situation on the contact line between
the armed forces of Nagornyy Karabakh and Azerbaijan and trying to
advance on our positions, pursuing two goals. First, the authorities
of that country are trying to resolve domestic political tasks by
proving to the opposition that they are ready for war. Second and most
importantly, Azerbaijan is blackmailing the international community
and trying to convince it that the country will start a war if the
problem is not resolved according to Azerbaijan's scenario," the
president of the Nagornyy Karabakh Republic [NKR], Arkadiy Gukasyan,
said after a meeting with OSCE Chairman-in-Office Dimitrij Rupel.

"We are interested in preventing the war. I am sure that the people of
Azerbaijan wish the same. However, the lack of official or any other
contacts with the Azerbaijani side makes the situation
unpredictable. Speaking of the need to create an atmosphere of mutual
confidence, we mean the establishment of contacts - we have to be able
to listen to each other, something that unfortunately has not happened
yet," Gukasyan said.

Commenting on the situation on the contact line, the NKR president
said that there were casualties and injuries on the Karabakh side
after the recent incidents, but "their number is small". In different
parts of the contact line the parties are separated by 70 metres to
1-2 km. The Azerbaijanis have now moved 150 metres closer to the
positions, from which they were 300 metres away before.

Gukasyan asked the OSCE chairman-in-office to take control of the
processes on the contact line and confirm the state of affairs again.