31 Jan 05


Yesterday evening the president of Nagornyy Karabakh, Arkadiy
Gukasyan, met Emily Margarethe Haber (from Germany), head of the OSCE
fact-finding mission, and also the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, Yuriy
Merzlyakov from Russia; Steven Mann from the USA and Bernard Fassier
from France.

Gukasyan stressed the importance of the OSCE initiative to visit the
territories currently controlled by the Karabakh government, the
information department of the Karabakh president has told Arminfo. He
said Stepanakert had repeatedly appealed to the OSCE co-chairs to
carry out this kind of monitoring in order to get familiarized with
the real situation in the territories to rule out all Azerbaijani
insinuations on the issue.

Regarding the current situation in the territories which make up a
security strip for Nagornyy Karabakh to be monitored by the OSCE
mission, Gukasyan said the Karabakh government has no state programme
to settle those territories. He said that the Armenians who had been
forcibly expelled from Azerbaijan were mainly living there. The
activities of the state in those territories are limited to providing
the people with normal living conditions and establishing appropriate
controls there, he said.

Gukasyan said that the Nagornyy Karabakh authorities are ready to do
their utmost to help the mission fulfil its work and expressed the
hope that the report the mission will prepare will help create a
constructive atmosphere for resolving the Karabakh conflict
peacefully. In order to get a bigger picture of the situation,
Gukasyan suggested that the OSCE mission visit Nagornyy Karabakh's
territories that are under the occupation of the Azerbaijani army.

In turn, Ms Haber thanked the Karabakh government for providing the
10-day-long mission with necessary conditions. She said that the
mission will make no political assessments as it is mainly technical
by nature.

Andrzej Kasprzyk, special envoy of the OSCE chairman-in-office, also
attended the meeting.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress