OSCE-sponsored talks in Helsinki on resolving the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan have made some progress with the two sides actually discussing the issues rather than simply scoring debating points, and agreeing early on to another meeting next month. Each side now has compelling reasons to settle: Armenia still faces economic isolation and its president Levon Ter-Petrosian is under fire at home. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, wants an end to the fighting so that it can export its oil. Significantly, Azerbaijani foreign minister Hassan Hassanov said just before the talks that if Armenia pulls out of Shushi and Lachin, two cities inside Azerbaijan, all other issues can be quickly resolved, the Noyan Tapan agency reported June 21. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Khabar news service said June 21 that Pope John Paul II had offered to mediate the dispute and would soon visit Baku.
Armenian Church Leader Active in Moscow.