BAKU (Armenpress/ PanARMENIAN.Net)–Azeri 525 Gazet quoted the American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk group Rudolf Perrina as saying that the Mountainous Karabagh Region (MKR) conflict is about to be settled–but that a final regulation may be reached only in 2003–after presidential elections of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
According to the newspaper–the diplomat said that there could be possible progress in the process of conflict regulation–and that they–the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk group–will soon undertake preparatory work.
The newspaper noted that similar opinions were recently expressed by the foreign ministers of both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Perrina also stated that–as both Armenia and Azerbaijan have made efforts to regulate the conflict–neither side is to blame for the prolonged negotiation process–and stressed that the most important factor in reaching a settlement is stability in the region. "The conflict is still dangerous. The leadership of both countries and both nations understand that and realize that it is necessary to take certain steps in order to prevent any outbursts," noted Perrina.
Meanwhile–the head of the parliamentary delegation of Armenia in the Council of Europe–chairman of the parliamentary commission on external relations Hovhannes Hovhannisian in an interview to "Arminfo" agency–stated that the MKR problem will have a political solution before 2005. He also stated that the MKR conflict settlement process will intensify after presidential elections in Armenia and Azerbaijan–enabling both parties to possibly formulate–during 2004-2005–a political resolution to the conflict.