Armenia + 1 more

Armenian President optimistic on Karabakh settlement...

Robert Kocharian said in Tbilisi on 29 March that his ongoing direct talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Heidar Aliev, on approaches to resolving the Karabakh conflict will resume "soon," according to Armenpress, as cited by Groong. The previous day, Kocharian had told Georgian State Television that he is "optimistic" at the prospects for reaching a settlement of the conflict. But he declined to specify any timeframe for doing so, saying that "we must try to be patient and carry on with this process in a positive and constructive manner." Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze affirmed his readiness to promote an Armenian-Azerbaijani dialogue in order to resolve all issues related to the Karabakh conflict. LF

Addressing the Georgian parliament on 29 March, Kocharian said that the proposed security pact for the Caucasus can be effective only if all regional states are involved, Russian agencies and AFP reported. Kocharian said that the pact should not only address security issues and conflict resolution but provide a basis for economic cooperation and democratic reforms. He suggested the formula 3 + 3 + 2, meaning the pact would constitute an agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, with Russia, Iran, and Turkey as guarantors and the U.S. and the EU as sponsors. Georgian Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili expressed approval of that formula, Caucasus Press reported. He said Tbilisi "supports all initiatives aimed at stabilizing the situation in the Caucasus." LF

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