Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 64

Kocharian’s victory poses special problems for Baku, as the Armenian president-elect, a native of Karabakh, presided over that unrecognized republic’s secession from Azerbaijan. Moreover, Kocharian — like Karabakh’s resident natives in general — is technically a citizen of Azerbaijan in the eyes of international law. In Baku yesterday, President Haidar Aliev reacted pragmatically to Kocharian’s election. "We shall work with the president elected by the citizens of Armenia," Aliev told a visiting delegation from the Council of Europe. "Circumstances require both our countries to seek a peaceful settlement of the conflict." At the same time, Aliev renewed his call for the withdrawal of Russian military bases and troops from Armenia and Georgia and for the repatriation of Russian military hardware unlawfully transferred to Armenia and Karabakh. (Turan, April 1)

Azerbaijani opposition leaders, by contrast, described Kocharian as a "war criminal" and predicted that hostilities would break out again as a result of his election. Popular Front leader Abulfaz Elchibey — the opposition’s likely joint candidate in this year’s presidential election — and leaders of opposition parties had made such statements during the course of Armenia’s presidential campaign and reiterated them yesterday. (Turan, April 1)

Diasporas’ Status Discussed by Russia and Kazakhstan.