US to Hold Karabakh Summit in April

WASHINGTON DC (combined sources)–Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has invited Presidents Heidar Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Robert Kocharian of Armenia to the United States for peace talks toward a resolution of the dispute over Nagorno Karabakh. The talks will open on April 3 at Harry S. Truman’s Little White House in Key West–Florida.

These talks are sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and will be mediated by expert negotiating teams from the United States–Russia–and France – the three Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group. Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh–Special Negotiator for Nagorno Karabakh–will lead the U.S. team.

Presidents Aliyev and Kocharian started a direct dialogue in 1999 and have met over a dozen times since in an effort to bring peace and stability to the South Caucasus. Their most recent encounters were January 26-27 and March 4-5 in Paris where they met alone and with French President Jacques Chirac. These talks in Key West are a continuation of their direct dialogue and President Chirac’s recent work.

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