Armenia. The conflict surrounding the Armenian enclave of
Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan in February forced Armenian
President Levon Ter-Petrosian to resign. He wanted to end an
economic boycott against Armenia from the oil-rich
Azerbaijan and its allied Turkey. Therefore, he sought a
negotiation solution around Nagorno-Karabakh and was
prepared for territorial concessions to reach his goal.
However, such a compromise was inconceivable for the
government, the National Assembly and large sections of the
population. Demonstrations were conducted against
Ter-Petrosian and the criticism was led by Prime Minister
Robert Kotjarjan. This was elected in March as new
president. However, observers from the European Security
Organization OSCE reported on the irregularities in the
Countryaah, Kotjarjan was formerly Nagorno-Karabakh's president and
led the enclave's outbreak of war against Azerbaijan.
Despite its hard line in the conflict, Kotjarjan, as newly
appointed president, promised to continue the peace talks
led by the OSCE. This happened at a meeting in Moscow with
Azerbaijan President Gejdar Alijev. In April, Kotjarjan
appointed former finance minister Armen Darbinjan as new
prime minister. He advocates rapid privatization and
extensive economic reform.
Darbinjan visited Azerbaijan in September, the first
visit of its kind since the war. However, no progress was
made in the peace talks.