Armenia declares talks with Azerbaijan were positive

Armenia saw last week's talks with Azerbaijan on the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh as positive, despite the failure to reach an agreement, a government spokesman said Monday Presidents Robert Kocharian of Armenia and Ilham Aliev of Azerbaijan reached no agreement Saturday on how to end the 18-year conflict over the enclave, despite two days of intense one-on-one talks at a chateau in Rambouillet, south of Paris.

"Even though no agreement has been reached, Armenia positively views the continuation of talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement," Kocharian's spokesman Viktor Sogomonian said. Azerbaijan's foreign minister said his country's insistence on territorial integrity and the return of Azerbaijani refugees to Nagorno-Karabakh were the two main sticking points at the talks.

"Azerbaijan will not make any concessions on the question of territorial integrity," Elmar Mammadyarov was quoted as saying Sunday by ANS television. Sogomonian refused to comment on the Azerbaijani statements.

Nagorno-Karabakh is inside Azerbaijan but populated mostly by ethnic Armenians, who have run it since an uneasy 1994 cease-fire ended six years of war. Sporadic border clashes continue to kill people each year and some sections are heavily mined, reports the AP.

N.U.