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Armenia/Azerbaijan: New principles of Karabakh conflict' settlement is continuation of Prague Process

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Turan 11/04/2006 20:28 - The process for settlement of the Karabakh conflict continues, Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Bernar Fassier said at a press conference today.

He also said that his visit to the region was agreed on by Azerbaijan and Armenia's leadership, and he will leave Baku for Yerevan.

After his trip there the co-chairmen will gather in Moscow to discuss the results of their visits to the region, Fassier said, recalling that the American and Russian cochairmen, Steven Mann and Yuri Merzliakov, are also coming to the region.

The meetings must help to form the basic principles of a future peaceful agreement, Fassier said. He said that their work would be very intense, and in May they will again visit Baku and Yerevan for the arrangement of a meeting between Armenia and Azerbaijan's presidents.

"Then terms of meeting are not known, but I hope they will agree to it. New principles of settlements will be submitted to the presidents," Fassier said.

According to him, there are some variants where the interest and wishes of the sides have been taken into account by 50 and even 80 percent. He said that this meeting is a continuation and a changed variant of the Prague process.

Fassier expressed concern however, because the work done in 2005 did not have results, though principles of settlement were determined.

"In Ramboulliet we tried to multiply the obtained results, but unfortunately could not reach an agreement. We are happy that it did not bring a break in the talks, and that they continue," Fassier said.

Fassier expressed concern about recent aggravation of the situation on the front line, and said that resumption of war will worsen the situation and could cause a crisis for "Azerbaijan's prospering economy".

The Prague process provided for a stage by stage variant of the conflict's settlement: the Armenians must liberate occupied lands around Karabakh and the refugees must return there; the opening of communication between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the question on Nagorno Karabakh's status is to be solved later.

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