Officials in Moscow and the Caucasus have said in the last two days that Russian president Boris Yeltsin will chair June 3 in Kislovodsk (Russia’s Stavropol territory) a meeting of the presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the heads of the Russian Federation’s North Caucasus republics and regions. The meeting will discuss approaches to settling the Chechnya, Ingush-North Ossetian, Karabakh, Georgian-Abkhaz, and Georgian-South Ossetian conflicts, as well as disarmament of the populations of the Caucasus and its armed groups, repatriation of refugees, and restoration of "disrupted economic ties." It has been proposed that joint working groups be established to continue discussion of these problems after the summit. (Itar-Tass, Interfax, May 28 & 29)
The summit has long been under discussion and its actual scheduling at this time appears to have been precipitated by Yeltsin’s electoral strategy. The Russian president seized the initiative from Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, who had proposed a Declaration on a Peaceful Caucasus, and from North Ossetian president Akhsarbek Galazov, who had offered to host the summit in his capital Vladikavkaz.
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