"AZERBAIJAN IS NOT INTERESTED IN KARABAKH ISSUE SETTLEMENT"

Azg
2 Nov 04

Stepanakert Responded to Baku's Initiative

Masis Mayilian, deputy foreign minister of Nagorno Karabakh Republic,
said in an interview to Azg Daily that by the initiative of including
"Azerbaijan's conquered territories' present status" in the UN agenda
the Azeri side proved once more Baku's unavailability to discuss with
Stepanakert the whole package of issues regarding Karabakh conflict.

The UN General Assembly's General Commission ordered to include
theissue of "Azerbaijan's conquered territories' present status" in
theagenda of the 59th sitting. Azerbaijan attempts to shift
international community's attention from the key issue of the Karabakh
conflict - the issue of Nagorno Karabakh status. Official Yerevan
stated that all the territories administratively belonging to the
Republic of Azerbaijan are not being inhabited (see Azg Daily's Oct.
30 issue).

"This step of Baku does not support the creation of the necessary good
atmosphere but is a propaganda maneuver. Otherwise, Azerbaijan would
respond to Stepanakert's offer of beginning whole-format talks which
are the most efficient means", Mayilian said.

He also noted that by posing the issue of territories Azerbaijan tries
to divert the attention of interested institutions from its own policy
of inhabiting 15 per cent of Karabakh's and the whole territory of
Shahumian in 1992.

"Baku's destructive policy makes it impossible to solve the problems
of the refugees and resettlers and may render all the efforts of
international mediators to nil", Mayilian said.

Artur Mosian, president of the Commission of Defense, Security and Law
Enforcement of the National Assembly of Nagorno Karabakh, informed Azg
Daily that Karabakh has no conquered territory. "Karabakh has only
liberated territories which are zones of safety. I think that Armenia
has neither conquered nor liberated territories in Karabakh. Let the
Azeri's calm down", Mosian said.

Yet, he noted that "such a formula cannot be pleasant". Mosian thinks
that Stepanakert is not involved in the negotiation processes today,
therefore Karabakh is not obliged to comment on the talk
discussions. "We are not involved in any talk process. If they don't
ask what we think it's their problem", he said.

Vahram Atanesian, president of the National Assembly Commission on
Foreign Affairs, thinks that picking out separate aspects from the
Karabakh issue and highlighting them on the UN agenda will not
contribute to any of the 3 conflicting sides as "the talks within the
OSCE Minsk group frameworks seemto mark progress".

He does not agree with the idea that Karabakh is left out from the
negotiations. "Minsk group is visiting Karabakh and discusses issues
with high-ranking officials of the Republic, that's why I think
Stepanakert clearly expresses it' s position and that is I think a
negotiation stance", Atanesian said.

He agrees with Armenian Foreign Ministry's opinion that no state
policy is carried out for inhabiting the territories. "I don't exclude
the possibility that there may be several Armenian families who found
refuge in these territories (controlled by Armenian forces) as they
have no other place to live and the Karabakh authorities cannot
provide them with the necessaries", Atanesian said.


Recently OSCE Minsk group co-chair Yuri Merzliakov said in an
interview to the Regnum new agency that Nagorno Karabakh's
participation in the talks is compulsory. Baku's Ekho newspaper cites
the words of Bruce Jackson,president of the US Committee to Expand
NATO: "I don't understand why Nagorno Karabakh does not take part in
the settlement talks".

Ali Hasanov, of President Aliyev's think tank, said to Ekho that
Karabakh is not a side in the conflict but Armenia is carrying that
role out. Only in case Armenia steps aside admitting that the conflict
is Azerbaijan's inner problem between Baku and Stepanakert and
withdraws its forces and ceases contributing to the separatists,
repeals Armenian parliament's decision of 1989,only then it will be
possible to begin talks between Baku and Stepanakert.

By Tatoul Hakobian