Armenian Azeri Defense Ministers Meet On Border

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The defense ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met on Tuesday on the border between the two neighboring countries locked in a territorial dispute over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh–a spokesman for the Armenian defense ministry said. The spokesman refused to give any details–saying that an official statement will be made to that effect.

Agreement to hold such a meeting was reached in Geneva last month by Presidents Robert Kocharian of Armenia and Haydar Aliyev of Azerbaijan. They said the two ministers will discuss measures aimed at strengthening the cease-fire regime along the Armenian-Azeri border and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

The latest Kocharian-Aliyev meeting in Yalta resulted in an agreement to resume peace talks within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group and take some confidence-building measures in the border zones of Armenia–Azerbaijan and the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. The talks are aimed at strengthening the current truce–presidential spokesman Vahe Gabrielian announced during a press briefing on September 14.

Each meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan brings more serious shifts and progress–Gabrielian continued.

The spokesman also told the press that a meeting of the two countries’ ministers of defense is due to take place on the border one of these days as part of the second agreement reached in Yalta.

Gabrielian revoked rumors that an attempt is being made to oust Karabakh from the negotiating process.

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