During Key West Talks
For the Resolution of the Karabakh Conflict

Secretary Powell's Speech in Congress

Federal News Service
Date: May 10, 2001, Thursday 04:34 PM Eastern Time

REP. KNOLLENBERG: Can you comment - and if you cannot, I would - you'll tell me - but obviously, for the record, as much as we can get, based on the Key West meeting, what are the prospects for peace? And you might want to telescope into the Geneva meeting to give me some idea about what upper level - what step they might make upwards in that regard, and what role do you see we (sic) playing in terms of foreign assistance in those areas?

SEC. POWELL: As you know, we are one of the three co-chairs of the group that is shepherding this along with the Russians and the French. And all of us were in Key West. There was a Russian delegate and a French delegate and our ambassador, Ambassador Cavanaugh. And I went down to serve as the host of the meeting and invited President Kocharian and President Aliyev to come and represent, of course, Armenia and Azerbaijan respectively to build on the work that they had been doing previously with President Putin and President Chirac.

It was an excellent meeting in Key West. Mr. Aliyev gave a very long opening statement describing the historical build-up to the current crisis, and it was rather thorough and definitive. President Kocharian thought it appropriate merely to note all of that, and his statement was brief. But then they got into some very serious and hard work, and it was a successful meeting. They both went home to reflect on the framework that was discussed and will ultimately be presented to them formally by the co-chairs when we reach an appropriate point. It is a very difficult negotiation, a negotiation that, if it is successful at the end, will be difficult for the two presidents to present to their people.

And so there are still some serious hurdles ahead, but progress was made in Key West. Whether we're ready for Geneva or not is a subject of some discussion this very day.

REP. KNOLLENBERG: People keep talking about a peace dividend, and they're talking about the removal of the blockade by Turkey. Is that a part of these discussions, and to what extent is it a part?

SEC. POWELL: Well, I think I need to be a little circumspect at this point, sir, because of the delicacy of these negotiations. Let me just say that if the two presidents at the ultimate invitation of the co-chairs are able to accept what the co-chairs put on the table and we do get an agreement and it's all tidied up, it will be just wonderful for the region. Armenia is losing its population because of lack of economic opportunity. There is a continuing war there that's under a cease-fire status, and there is wealth in that region that can be released if only we can get stability and the end of this conflict. And I think lots of good things in neighboring countries would happen as well.


Copyright 2001 Federal News Service, Inc.
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