RETURN TO KARABAKH'S FORMER STATUS IS IMPOSSIBLE - ARMENIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

Russia & CIS General Newswire
January 9, 2008 Wednesday 2:58 PM MSK

The Karabakh and Kosovo conflicts have common features, Armenian
Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian has said.

"Each conflict has its specific characteristics but their legal and
ethnic aspects may be similar. The Karabakh and Kosovo conflicts
have similar features of this kind," the minister said at a press
conference in Yerevan on Wednesday.

"Ethnic purges and crimes refer to the common features of the Karabakh
and Kosovo conflicts," Oskanian said.

"But, whereas in Kosovo ethnic purges and crimes were curbed by NATO
and the international community, whilst in Armenian Karabakh the
people did this for themselves," he said.

"Therefore, the events in Kosovo have an international resonance,
while in Karabakh "purges and crimes were local and failed to draw
the world communities' attention," the minister said.

"Azerbaijan must forget about Nagorno Karabakh, and about the Kosovo
issue, as well. There will not be a return to the old status," he said,
noting that 20 years of the Sumgait violence were being marked now.

"Those horrible events are the first circumstance that makes Nagorno
Karabakh's stay in Azerbaijan impossible," the minister said.

Talks on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
have been continuing since 1992. The co-chairmen of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Minsk Group, representing
the United States, Russia and France, have submitted new proposals,
which they hope will be answered during their visit to the region in
mid January.