During Key West Talks
For the Resolution of the Karabakh Conflict

Azeris wary of Iran's mediation in Karabakh settlement: BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom, Apr 11, 2001

525 Qazet, Baku, in Azeri, April 11, 2001

Text of report by Azerbaijani newspaper 525 Qazet on 11 April entitled "Iran wants to participate in Karabakh settlement process" by Arzu

Official Tehran may hold consultations with Azerbaijan and Armenia following the Key West talks, the press secretary of the Iranian embassy in Baku, Izzatullah Jalali, has told a 525 Qazet correspondent. During these consultations Iranian representatives will discuss Tehran's participation in the resolution of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group. According to the Iranian diplomat, his country believes that as an important country in the region it should take part in the Karabakh settlement process. "Iran is ready to show its interest in the settlement of this conflict, but the parties to the conflict should give their approval," Jalali added.

Iran's proposal to participate in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict has been discussed in society at the beginning of this year. Armenia immediately gave a positive answer to this proposal from official Tehran. However, Azerbaijan's approach to this was negative. President Heydar Aliyev gave a negative answer to an Iranian journalist's question about Iran's proposal. He recalled the occupation of Susa [Shushi] in 1992, when Iran initiated talks between the sides, and stressed that he did not believe that Iran's mediation would yield results now either.

Would Azerbaijan's position change if the consultations did take place? Commenting on this diplomatic circles said that Azerbaijan recognized Iran as an important country in the region and that our country did not downplay the importance of consultations with Iran over conflicts in the region. "This is the reason why Iran is being informed about the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. However, this should not be construed as Azerbaijan's wish to see Iran as a mediator in the Karabakh settlement process. Azerbaijan still does not accept Iran's mediation." [the newspaper was told].
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