Potential Hot Spots: March 7, 2000

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Trouble is brewing between Armenian President Kocharian and his military commanders. When the war over Nagorno-Karabakh ended in 1994, Armenia controlled the enclave inside Azerbaijan, as well as pieces of Azeri territory. Kocharian has hinted he would return at least some of this territory and accept some Azeri control over Nagorno-Karabakh in exchange for a stable peace deal. The hard line military refuses to even consider giving up an inch of their hard-won conquests. Trouble has been developing for some time. Vazgen Sargsian, leader of the Yekrapah nationalist military movement, held the post of Defense Minister since the 1994 victory, and forced his way into the post of Prime Minister a year ago. Last October, Sargsian and nine other top pro-military officials were murdered by gunmen who attacked parliament. A military investigator has blamed the attack on close associates of President Kocharian, partly in an effort to isolate him and take over government offices which his cohorts control, and partly to blame him for the killings and have him removed.--Stephen V Cole


 

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