Ter Petrosyan Aliyev Meet in Istanbul

ISTANBUL (Reuter–Itar-Tass)–The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held talks at a conference of Black Sea countries in Istanbul Monday following some of the worst fighting between the Caucasus neighbors in nearly three years.

Levon Ter-Petrosyan told journalists afterward that a fragile cease-fire between the two countries remained in place despite the recent fighting.

"There is a cease-fire," he said.

Ter-Petrosyan and Azeri President Gaidar Aliyev arrived in Turkey earlier in the day to attend a meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation forum.

The pair declined to comment on their talks.

The two countries traded accusations of cross-border attacks last week after two weeks of sporadic and violent clashes.

The two leaders did not make any statemen’s for the press. But sources close to the Armenian delegation said they had failed to reach progress during their 45-minute tte–tte talk.

The meeting was organized by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel who offered to act as a mediator.

"We will try to reach peace in the Caucasus–which should boost cooperation among all countries of the Black Sea region," he said.

A Black Sea business conference is opening in Istanbul later today. The conference–to be chaired by Demirel–will be attended by leaders of Armenia–Azerbaijan–Georgia–Moldavia–Romania and Ukraine. They will discuss ways to attract investmen’s in the region.

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