No Breakthrough in Karabakh Peace

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Armenia’said Monday there is no ground to speak about a breakthrough in the efforts to find a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Vladimir Karapetian, who is also head of the Foreign Ministry’s department for public affairs, told Armenpress that Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian met Saturday with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in Yerevan. The peace brokers from Russia, USA and France have stepped up their efforts at shuttle diplomacy to help the two sides narrow their differences on a framework agreement, he said.
"The process goes on and we expect the cochairmen to pay another visit to the region soon," he added.
Earlier, Azeri media quoted Mr Bryza allegedly saying that Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan will sign a framework agreement next year to resolve their dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to the Azeri press, Bryza said Armenian President Robert Kocharian had told the Minsk Group chairmen during their meeting last Thursday in Yerevan that signing such a "gentlemanly agreement" prior to the country’s presidential ballot was possible.
Asked to comment on these reports Karapetian said the president of Armenia had denied such statemen’s, considering the statement in the Azeri press a "result of bad translation."
The Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Yuri Merzlyakov (Russia), Bernard Fassier (France) and Matthew Bryza (U.S.) arrived in Yerevan Last Wednesday. After meeting Armenian President and Foreign Minister, they left for Baku then returned to Yerevan Saturday to brief the Armenian side on the outcomes of the Baku talks.
Commenting on the OSCE’s increased efforts at shuttle diplomacy, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammedyarov reiterated Azerbaijan’s willingness to participate in high-level meetings with the representatives of Armenia despite the OSCE Minsk co-chairs recent preference to conduct the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks through shuttle diplomacy rather than the direct meetings of presidents and foreign ministers.
"The official position of Baku remains unchanged," said Mammedyarov. "The conflict must be regulated within the frameworks of Azerbaijani territorial integrity. The Armenia’s living in Nagorno-Karabakh are citizens of Azerbaijan and we will only speak about the provision of high status of autonomy," the Azerbaijani foreign minister added.

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