Presidents Haidar Aliev of Azerbaijan and Robert Kocharian of Armenia held a two-hour, tete-a-tete discussion on April 26 in the U.S. State Department in Washington. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright hosted the meeting but left after a few minutes, letting the two presidents to conduct their talks in complete confidentiality. It transpired afterward that Aliev and Kocharian agreed to conduct follow-up meetings face-to-face, while also continuing the negotiations mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The two presidents reportedly continued to disagree about the OSCE’s latest peace plan for Karabakh. Kocharian reaffirmed Armenia’s acceptance of the plan, based on the concept of a “common state” of Azerbaijan and Karabakh. Aliev restated that the plan is unacceptable to Azerbaijan. The two presidents presented their views on the Karabakh conflict during lectures they delivered in Washington on April 26 at the Carnegie Endowment and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, respectively (Turan, AP, April 27).
KYRGYZ SECURITY OFFICERS PURGED FOR EAVESDROPPING ON PRESIDENT.