BAKU(Itar-Tass)–Azeri president Gaidar Aliyev welcomed stepped up activities of the OSCE Minsk Group for Nagorno-Karabakh.
He received the co-chairmen–Yuri Yukalov (Russia)–Lynn Pascoe (US) and George Vaugier (France) as well as Russian co-chairman of the Minsk Conference Valentin Lozinsky Friday.
They arrived in Baku late on Thursday evening to continue political consultations with the republican leadership and to hammer out new initiatives in order to settle the Armenian-Azeri conflict.
The Azeri leader claimed that the statement by the US–Russian and French presidents which was made in Denver last month during the G-8 summit–gave an additional impetus to this process.
Aliyev said that the topic of a peaceful settlement of the conflict occupied a place of prominence during his talks and meetings with Boris Yeltsin in Moscow–Bill Clinton and Jacques Chirac in Madrid.
The president noted that all the three heads of state pay serious attention to this difficult problem and believe that it should be settled on just principles in the near future.
He said that such developmen’s inspire him with hope that a breakthrough would be achieved in the peace process even in the current year. This breakthrough will have favorable consequences for all the interested sides.
According to Pascoe–the presidents of co-chairmen’states of the Minsk Group–who are interested in the earliest settlement of the conflict–submitted their own proposals on its settlement.
Without revealing their essence–the American diplomat noted that the prerogative to take any decisions belongs to the parties in the conflict–while the task of intermediaries is to promote peace in the region in every way.
Detailed discussion on new initiatives is being held behind closed doors.