EU Calls for Intensification of Dialogue Between Armenia Azerbaijan

HELSINKI (RFE/RL–Interfax)–The European Union Wednesday called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to speed up efforts to resolve the problems over Nagorno-Karabakh.

A statement from the Finnish Foreign Ministry said Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Azeri President Haydar Aliyev should "intensify their dialogue" to find a peaceful solution to the conflict over the area–which both countries claim to own.

Finland currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU.

The EU said regional cooperation is an essential part of the political and economic development of the area and toward that goal the EU said it applauds every effort made by the presidents of the two countries to achieve peace. The two met last week in Geneva for talks.

Aliyev urged co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk group to step up efforts to settle the Karabakh conflict–the Interfax news agency reported.

He spoke at a Monday meeting with US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Stanley Escudero.

He hoped that his meeting with the Armenian president in Geneva last week "would become an important step to a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh problem." Aliyev said that the settlement is impossible without compromise.

Escudero stressed the importance of the Geneva meeting for the settlement. He said the US is ready to grant all-round assistance for the bettering of Armenian-Azeri relations.

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