YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The day before the visit to Baku by a delegation of Minsk Conference co-chairmen including Strobe Talbott (US)–Valentin Lozinsky (Russia) and Jacques Bleut (France)–Azeri State Adviser Vafa Guluzade told the local press that the new proposals by the Minsk group were consistent with the principles of the Lisbon Summit–and therefore met Azerbaijan’s national interests.
The current delegation included the Russian president’s special envoy–Boris Pastoukhov. Pastoukhov hasn’t had any direct relation to the Minsk group so far.
Analysts in Baku felt that Guluzade made Azerbaijan’s position clear–and that problems might arise only from Armenia. Other observers are not ruling out the fact that Moscow tried to strengthen its Russian team at the meetings–therefore trying to neutralize Talbott and the US factor.
Still other analysts feel Pastoukhov’s arrival in Baku might have taken place for alternate reasons–as Russian President Boris Yeltsin had previously sent messages to the presidents of both Azerbaijan and Armenia–and Pastoukhov’s presence could have been in connection with that.