Russian Mediator Says Prague Meeting Raises Optimism

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The Russian co-chairman of the Minsk Group Yuri Merzlyakov–told Azeri ATV that new ideas on resolving the Mountainous Karabagh conflict were put forth during the meeting between Armenian foreign minister Vartan Oskanian and his new Azeri counterpart Elmar Mamedyarov. The meeting which took place in Prague was mediated by the US–Russian–and French co-chairs of the Minsk Group–which spearheads the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe’s (OSCE) efforts to find a political solution to this conflict.

Merzlyakov called the meeting "useful," and disclosed that the co-chairmen presented fresh ideas and suggestions on how to end the conflict.

Merzlyakov also said that the Prague meeting has roused certain optimism about future prospects fore a settlement–a sentiment shared by the foreign ministers of the countries–who conferred they were satisfied with the meeting.

The group’s co-chairman–along with Oskanian and Mamedyarov–will be drafting a joint statement on the results of their latest meeting to present to the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. "The new venue of the meeting can be decided only after the presidents of the two countries are fully informed about the Prague meeting," Merzlyakov said.

According to the Baku-based 525 Gazet–Mamedyarov said that the Prague meeting’s end result was to set a tentative agreement to meet again next month–and that the meeting did not discuss the new proposals put forth by the mediators.

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