By Emil Danielyan in Stepanakert
The Nagorno-Karabakh authorities hosted on Monday a meeting of senior officials from four unrecognized republics in the former Soviet Union which seek to promote their multilateral ties to offset the lack of full international recognition. The foreign ministers of Karabakh, the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the Transdniester Republic which is seeking independence from Moldova began a two-day session in Stepanakert, focusing on internationally sponsored peace efforts in their areas.
The parties were briefing each other on recent developments in their respective conflicts with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova, Karabakh officials said. The four entities, which fought successful secessionist wars in the 1990s, are due to issue a joint communique on Tuesday pledging greater cooperation in the international arena.
The president of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Arkady Ghukasian, described the meeting as "important." But speaking to RFE/RL, he stressed that the long-running conflicts in the four former Soviet republics have major historical and political differences and therefore require different solutions.
Also on the agenda of the talks is the creation of a joint "information center" meant to facilitate the exchange of information among the entities. The officials also discussed the possibility of establishind direct commercial links. The four breakaway territories, which have enjoyed de-facto independence for the past decade, reject offers of conventional autonomy repeatedly made by the authorities in Baku, Tbilisi and Chisinau. They instead favor the creation of loose confederations with the former metropolies.