Aliyev, Kocharian ‘May Meet Again This Year’

BAKU (RFE?RL)–The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan may meet again this fall in yet another attempt to reach a framework peace agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh, a senior U.S. negotiator reportedly said in Baku on Friday.
Azerbaijani media quoted Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza as saying that the meeting could take place in October or November.
Bryza, who is also the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, was reported to have made the statement after talks with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. He was received by President Ilham Aliyev on Thursday.
The U.S. official arrived in Baku from Moscow where he discussed with the Minsk Group’s Russian and French co-chairs the latest impasse in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks. Visiting Armenia on Monday, he indicated that the conflicting parties are unlikely to cut unpopular peace deals before the start of presidential elections due in both Armenia and Azerbaijan next year.
According to the Azerbaijani news agency Trend, Bryza sounded more optimistic on that score in Baku, saying that the mediators should use the limited time remaining before the presidential races to again try to get the parties to sort out their remaining differences on the Minsk Group’s existing peace proposals.
The mediators hoped that Aliyev and his Armenian counterpart will eliminate those differences at their most recent meeting held in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg in June. However, the two leaders failed to make further progress in the talks, all but dashing hopes for a near-term solution to the Karabakh conflict.


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