Minsk Group Co-Chairs Meet with Kocharian, Oskanian

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–President Robert Kocharian and Foreign minister Vartan Oskanian Tuesday held meetings with the Russian and French cochairmen of the OSCE Minsk group, Yuri Merzlyakov and Bernard Fassier, who arrived in Yerevan to explore whether they need to press for another meeting of Armenian and Azeri presidents. No announcement was made about a possible meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan after Tuesday’s visit of the OSCE Minsk Group cochairmen to Yerevan. The Armenian president’s press service reported that the sides discussed "issues connected with the current stage of the Karabakh settlement process and the possible meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the sidelines of the upcoming CIS summit in Minsk." In a recent interview with RFE/RL Vartan Oskanian said that during their visit to the region the cochairmen would propose a meeting of the two presidents on the sidelines of the November 28 summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The cochairmen left Yerevan for Baku. In analysts’ opinion, a possible meeting may be announced after the cochairmen’s meeting with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. Last week Robert Kocharian said that "unfortunately, despite the ongoing active negotiations, there are few grounds for optimism." Meanwhile, the speaker of the Nagorno-Karabakh Parliament announced in Yerevan Tuesday that Karabakh President Arkady Ghoukassian, who is currently visiting the United States, will meet with the US cochairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Matthew Bryza. "As far as I am informed, it is planned that one of these days US cochairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Matthew Bryza will have a meeting with Arkady Ghoukassian, who is currently on a visit to the United States," Ashot Ghulian told reporters. When speaking about Stepanakert’s possible participation in the peace process, Ghulian stated that when Azerbaijan begins to approach the peace process in a mature manner then Karabakh will join the negotiations. "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s participation in the talks cannot be an end in itself," he said adding that plenty of international documen’s existed that proved that there were parties to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict "The current format of the negotiations was initiated by Azerbaijan. But if the format promotes the conflict settlement it’s admissible for Karabakh. Nevertheless I consider that Karabakh’s participation in the process is necessary," added Ghulian.

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