Armenian President Robert Kocharian announced yesterday that he would not personally go to Azerbaijan in response to President Haidar Aliev’s invitation. The Armenian leadership has decided to send Prime Minister Armen Darbinian to Baku instead for the international conference on the Europe-Caucasus-Central Asia transport corridor project. Kocharian denied that security considerations played–as many assume–a role in the decision to send the prime minister instead of the president. Even short of presidential attendance, Darbinian’s will be the first visit by a senior official of either country to the other since the beginning of the Armenian-Azeri conflict over Karabakh. (Noyan-Tapan, August 12)
LESSER-KNOWN ASPIRANTS TO AZERBAIJAN’S PRESIDENCY.