Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Feb 5, 1990
MOSCOW (AP) – Armenian negotiator broke off informal peace talks with Azerbaijani and headed home yesterday after accusing them of pressuring Armenians to evacuate two villages in Azerbaijan, a participant said. Armenian leaders also instructed their negotiators in Riga, Latvia, “that the Armenian All-National Movement bad refused to ratify an agreement to seek a peaceful settlement of the conflict and exchange information on hostages.
The talks, held without the participation of the Soviet government, began Friday with mediators from the people’s fronts movements in the western republics of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Direct talks followed Saturday. “Everything went well until there was pause in the talks. Then the leaden of the Armenian All-National Movement In Yerevan told the negotiators to cut the talks,” said Ints Upmacis, a Latvian People’s Front leader present during the meeting.
The Armenians headed for Yerevan early yesterday, Upmacis said.
The Armenian political movement in Yerevan accused the Azerbaijan People’s Front of pressing Armenian residents to evacuate the villages of Azad and Kamo in the Khanlar region of Azerbaijan, the official news agency Tass reported.
The residents were told that they were in danger of being attacked, and the Armenians claimed the army said it was unable to guarantee their safety, Upmacis said.
When informed that the Armenians were planning to leave the talks, the Azerbaijani negotiators agreed to try and verify the Armenian claim, but Communist Party officials and Soviet army officials reached in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku said they had no information to support the charges. The Azerbaijani delegation said it was ready to resume talks with the Armenians.