(AP) - Armenia's President Robert Kocharian warned Azerbaijan that Yerevan could officially recognize the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh if negotiations on its status reach a dead end, a news agency report said on Thursday.
"If talks exhaust themselves, I don't rule out Yerevan recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh's independence or that Nagorno-Karabakh may join Armenia," he said in an interview with Slovenian newspaper Delo, the Mediamax news agency reported.
Kocharian said that Nagorno-Karabakh already used Armenian currency and a single customs zone existed.
Tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains high more than a decade after a 1994 cease-fire ended a six-year war that left Nagorno-Karabakh, a mainly ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan, in Armenian hands. The region's self-declared independence is not recognized internationally.
Russian, French and U.S. envoys from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are trying find a solution to the dispute over the mountainous region, which was seized by ethnic Armenian forces in a war with Azerbaijan in the 1990s.