PRIMAKOV’S KARABAKH SHUTTLE DIPLOMACY.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 91

Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov conferred yesterday with Azerbaijani president Heydar Aliyev in Baku on the terms of Karabakh settlement. In the evening, he flew to Yerevan, bringing with him 35 Armenian prisoners of war and hostages released by Azerbaijan (another four chose to remain there). Primakov is expected to bring to Baku 69 Azeris held by the Armenian side when he flies back to Baku on the next leg of his shuttle mission. This "all-for-all" exchange apparently completes the mutual release of prisoners and hostages two years after the Karabakh cease-fire took effect. Primakov opined yesterday that "all decisive moves to settle conflicts start by exchanging prisoners." Primakov is carrying messages to his hosts from Russian president Boris Yeltsin detailing Karabakh settlement terms which center on preserving both Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and Karabakh’s ethnic identity through an autonomous status to be negotiated. (Itar-Tass, Western agencies, May 8)

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