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OSKANIAN SOUNDS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT KARABAKH RESOLUTION PROSPECTS

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 29, ARMENPRESS: Armenian foreign minister Vartan Oskanian echoed today president Robert Kocharian, who sounded cautiously optimistic on Tuesday about prospects for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Speaking to a joint news conference in Yerevan with Heikki Talvitie, EU’s special representative for the South Caucasus, Oskanian said there was a positive shift in the negotiating process, but warned that both sides would have to exercise efforts to catch the rare chance to register further progress. According to Oskanian, this prospect is likely to come after parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan. Oskanian described Talvitie’s impression from a visit to Baku earlier this week ‘interesting,’ underlining there was ‘a momentum’ for the conflict resolution. Oskanian also said the date and venue of his next meeting with Azeri counterpart, Elmar Mamedyarov was not clear yet.

Talvitie added that the EU was interested in establishing stability in this region and that all sides should work to achieve it. Asked to comment on a yesterday European parliament resolution reiterating that Turkey must recognize the Armenian genocide before the start of EU accession talks, Talvitie said: “if accession talks begin Armenia-Turkey relations will be on their agenda. This will give an opportunity to regulate their sensitive relations.”

Oskanian in turn urged EU to keep this issue high on its agenda, saying the more EU discusses it the more it will contribute to normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. Referring to constitutional reform process in Armenia Talvitie said the EU supports the process “as it would be a significant step forward in terms of making the basic law of the country more democratic.”

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