Putin Hosts Aliyev Kocharian Meeting

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenian and Azeri presidents Robert Kocharian and Haydar Aliyev discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during a meeting Friday mediated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The trilateral meeting took place in Moscow late in the day after the CIS summit and the meeting of the so-called "Caucasus Four."

The leaders of 12 former Soviet republics marked the10th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on Friday–in Moscow. After the summit meeting in Kremlin the heads of states of former Soviet Republics–including Armenian President Robert Kocharian held a joint press conference. Asked whether the war against international terrorism could help eliminate the Nagorno-Karabakh problem Kocharian said that each conflict has its own history and cause. "Each conflict is unique therefore there are no unified methods to solve them," Kocharian said.

The Armenian leader admitted–however that the September 11 terrorist attack not only intensified efforts against terrorism but also strengthened the resolve to eliminate regional conflicts.

Aliyev in his part expressed disappointment that it was impossible to find a peaceful solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the CIS. However–Putin was more optimistic on the issue of CIS’s ability to solve conflicts. "CIS has a unique experience of solving conflicts. We were able to solve the interethnic conflict in Tajikistan," Putin said. He also said the existence of the CIS helped ease interethnic conflicts between former Soviet republics.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also hosted the meeting of the "Caucasus four" during which he discussed with his Armenian–Azeri and Georgian counterparts regional conflicts as well as relations between Russia and three South Caucasus nations. Opening the Caucasus leaders’ meeting–Putin said that critical and very important issues would be on the agenda. The Russian leader also expressed hope that the discussions between Robert Kocharian and Heidar Aliyev would contribute to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–despite the fact that the much anticipated official bilateral meeting between the two leaders didn’t take place. It was only later that the two leaders met in Putin’s presence.

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