Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 204

Interviewed on Armenian television, Karabakh president Robert Kocharian restated a series of terms "from which there can be no retreat and no fallback positions" for settling the conflict with Azerbaijan. Karabakh will "never" be a part of Azerbaijan or subordinated to Baku, he said, nor accept being an enclave. Karabakh will itself determine its security needs and maintain its own army. Karabakh is not interested in any level of autonomy within Azerbaijan because it is, de facto, independent, Kocharian noted. He added that meaningful negotiations within the framework of the OSCE’s Minsk Group can only begin when its member countries and Azerbaijan accept those conditions. (Armenpress, Noyan-Tapan, October 29 and 30)

Kocharian is set to win a second term of office in Karabakh’s presidential election, scheduled for November 24. His remarks were an indirect response to recent U.S., Russian, and OSCE statements that criticized the planned election as untimely and likely to complicate the peace negotiations. (Turan, October 28 and 29)

Baku insists on unconditional observance of its territorial integrity and inviolability of its borders, including retrocession of the Lachin corridor, which had made Karabakh an enclave inside Azerbaijan before the war. Azerbaijan offers Karabakh "the highest degree of autonomy" as part of Azerbaijan, and security guarantees for what would once again become "the Armenian community in Azerbaijan." Armenia for its part takes the position that it will accept any settlement terms that are acceptable to Karabakh. The incompatibility of the sides’ positions on these and other issues seems to preclude the progress that the OSCE is currently pressing for and still hopes to see at its upcoming annual summit.

Japanese Lending Targets Infrastructure Programs.