Answers of presidents Kocharyan and Aliyev to questions from reporters, Minsk, Belarus

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Question: Your last meeting was in September, and now you meet again. How would you describe the results of this meeting?

H. Aliyev: We had a rather detailed discussion. I think our conversation was constructive. This means that both President Robert Kocharian and myself, we expressed our concern with the fact that the conflict is still going on and that we have not been able to find a solution. We talked about that. We met in order to find ways to solve this issue. In principle, I am satisfied with today’s discussion, taking into consideration that there has been a little pause in our personal contacts. Today we met and analyzed all that took place during that pause. Once again (President Kocharian will talk about that), first of all, we have the same formula that it is necessary for us to go for mutual compromises. Secondly, it is us, the two Presidents, who need to find the solution - of course, with the assistance and support of international organizations. However, a fundamental solution is hardly going to have any result without us. I think the meeting was very useful and we agreed that our contacts will continue.

Robert Kocharian: We agreed not simply that the contacts must continue, but that we need to intensify” them. Those are the exact words that were used: “to intensify our contacts.”. I think we will get such an opportunity in January 2001. Of course, it would be desirable for 2001 to become a decisive year in terms of making decisions for the settlement. Naturally, it will take time to implement those decisions. I even calculated: in 2003, there will be elections in Armenia and in Azerbaijan, and naturally, if we wait that long, the election campaign would hinder the search of a solution, which must undoubtedly be based on compromises. The position of the President of Azerbaijan, as well as mine were voiced, and they are that the solution must be peaceful, and that we must intensify the process of finding the final solution. I am also satisfied with today’s meeting.