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Turkish Alarm on Karabakh

TURKEY has asked the United States to press for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh, where it says conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has escalated into war.

Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin called US Secretary of State James Baker III on the telephone Saturday to discuss the issue, said a Foreign Ministry statement issued yesterday.

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"Cetin has drawn Baker's attention to the dimensions of the conflict that threaten regional peace, and has asked the United States to use its influence for a peaceful solution," it said.

"The main thing is to achieve a cease-fire," Mr. Cetin told Turkey's parliament after returning Friday from a tour of six former Soviet republics that included two rounds of talks in Azerbaijan. "The only way to do this, other than using force, is to involve countries like the United States and France, which have influence over Armenia."

Ankara has announced plans to search aid shipments bound for Armenia and Azerbaijan in an effort to enforce the immediate ban on arms shipments to Nagorno-Karabakh called for by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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