Armenia, Azerbaijan Plan Talks for January

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev with their respective foreign ministers during their last meeting in Vienna in Nov. 2013.

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan plan to meet again later this month in an effort to build on progress that was reportedly made by the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict late last year.

Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian was on Wednesday quoted by his press office as saying during a visit to Peru that fresh talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov are due to take place in Paris “in the second half of January.” He said they will be held in the presence of U.S., Russian and French mediators acting under the aegis of the OSCE Minsk Group.

A statement released by the office gave no details of the meeting’s agenda.

Nalbandian and Mammadyarov will likely discuss preparations for another meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents. Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev pledged to meet again early this year after their most recent talks held in Vienna on November 19. The two leaders gave an unusually positive assessment of that summit, raising new hopes for a breakthrough in the Karabakh peace process.

The Minsk Group co-chairs met with Aliyev and Sarkisian as well as Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian leaders when they last visited the conflict zone from December 15-19. In a joint statement, they expressed their “resolve to continue building on these substantive talks in January 2014.” They said Nalbandian and Mammadyarov will meet soon to “prepare for the next summit.”

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