Mediators Signal New Karabakh Proposals

PARIS (RFE/RL)–The American–French and Russian mediators signaled on Thursday their intention to make new proposals to Armenia and Azerbaijan that are aimed at breaking the deadlock in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.

"Proceeding from the St. Petersburg G8 [summit] Chairman’s statement on Nagorno-Karabakh–the Co-Chairs considered different options to achieve its objectives–which will be proposed to the parties–and await them for their thoughts," the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group said in a statement issued after their meeting in Paris on Wednesday.

The meeting followed US co-chair Matthew Bryza’s visit to Yerevan–Stepanakert and Baku. The mediators said they discussed its results and assessed the "current stage in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict." They gave no details.

Speaking to RFE/RL in Yerevan after talks with President Robert Kocharian on Saturday–Bryza indicated that the troika will initiate no further Armenian-Azeri peace talks unless the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan display greater commitment to mutual compromise. "We are just waiting for a sign from the presidents as to whether or not they would like to restart a formal process," he said–arguing that it is still unclear "whether or not there is enough will on both sides to eliminate or to resolve the distance that still stands between them."

The G8 statement cited by the co-chairs was issued by the leaders of the world’s eight leading industrialized nations on July 17 at the end of their three-day meeting in Russia’s second largest city. They urged the conflicting parties to reach a framework agreement on Karabakh before the end of this year.

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