Aliyev, Sarkisian Pledge to Intensify Peace Process

Presidents Aliyev, Medvedev and Sarkisian during Monday talks in Sochi

SOCHI (RFE/RL)—The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan pledged to intensify their efforts to agree on the basic principles of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict after fresh talks hosted by their Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.

In a joint statement with Medvedev issued in the Russian city of Sochi, Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev said “they expressed readiness to accelerate the achievement of an agreement on the Basic Principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.” In that regard, they stressed the importance of switching to discussions on a comprehensive peace accord based on those principles.

The statement did not say, however, that Aliyev and Sarkisian narrowed their differences on the framework peace deal drafted by Russia, the United States and France under the aegis the OSCE Minsk Group.

According to the Interfax news agency, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists after the trilateral meeting that there is still “a whole series of issues that remain to be agreed” before the conflicting parties can sign a document on the basic principles. Lavrov said the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders agreed that they need to “move away from maximalist positions” in order to ensure further progress in the peace process.

Aliyev and Sarkisian were reportedly close to achieving a breakthrough at their previous face-to-face talks with Medvedev that took place in another Russian city, Kazan, last June. Prospects for a near-term solution to the Karabakh conflict have dimmed since then.

The two presidents also discussed but apparently failed to reach a final agreement joint investigations of deadly ceasefire violations in the conflict zone which have been proposed by the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the Minsk Group. Their joint statement said that the mediators were instructed to “continue this work” on concrete procedures for such investigations.

The Sochi summit highlighted Russia’s central role in the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiating process that has been publicly praised by the United States and the European Union. Medvedev has organized a dozen Aliyev-Sarkisian meetings during his four-year presidency.

In a separate meeting with Aliyev held earlier on Monday, Medvedev insisted that these talks have been “useful” despite the lack of concrete agreements reached to date. “I hope that this kind of contacts will continue in the future,” he said in televised remarks.

The trilateral statement similarly spoke of “progress” in the Russian-mediated negotiations. It also said that Aliyev and Sarkisian called for continued mutual visits by Armenian and Azerbaijani intellectuals and other prominent public figures.

According to Lavrov, they asked Moscow to continue to arrange such “humanitarian ties.” “Dmitry Medvedev certainly agreed,” he said.

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8 Comments

  1. Alex Postallian said:

    I see two Armenians Medvedev,Sarkisian sitting at the table,pardone, and one baboon.

  2. Sedat said:

    Alex, your narrow view of the world I hope is not reflected by your kinsmen. There will be no peace deal until Turkey wants one. The only ‘baboon’ in the picture is the negativity of such view people like you hold. To enjoy peace you must educate yourself and take a deep breath before making such comments.

    • Harutuyn said:

      Sedat what do you know about peace???
      If you want peace prepare for war but even if you fought you will loose just like Baku did all Bakus wars will be lost it just the truth face it i know and you know that the truth herts but its like that.

    • Alex Postallian said:

      I am 85yrs old,American born,served my country,never knewmy grand-parents,my dad came from gebin a turkish sewer,spoke only turkish:a guttral swine like language,(oink,oink),because they were afraid to speak Armenian, beautiful poetic,like Italian.My Mother lived through the Genocide,I would believe her,rather then some lying turkie(gooble,gooble)This is America,I can say anything I want without regress.So if you dont like it HIT THE ROAD.

  3. Arshak Manukian said:

    The Artsakh issue has already been resolved and the books are closed. Artsakh is free and independent.
    A suggestion to all parties involved: do not waste your time anymore. Artsakh is Armenian land and will always remain Armenian. Voch me tiz hogh turkin.

  4. bayrakiniyakan said:

    Sedat Massallah Massallah you are a super Turkish brine cant be found anywhere Massallah , can you tell me why Turkish Hurriyet never show my comments
    you must be feeling at home on Asbarez pages

    • Sedat said:

      Hello bayrakiniyakan, you will have to ask Hurriyet that question yourself as they will not publish my comments either. I just found this paper and it is very interesting to read stories from the other persons perspective. Thank you for your kind words, there is no need to be nasty, leave that for the politicians. People with open minds can seek the truth and debate the same, there is no need for name calling.

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