Fresh Armenian-Azeri Summit Set for Wednesday

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Serzh Sarkisian will meet his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Switzerland on Wednesday for more talks on the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it was officially announced on Monday.

A statement by Sarkisian’s press service said the meeting will take place on the sidelines on the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.

Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian flew to the Swiss resort town on Monday to help prepare for the summit. The Armenian Foreign Ministry said Nalbandian and Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will meet there in the presence of the U.S., Russian and French mediators on Tuesday.

The three diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group arranged the potentially decisive Aliyev-Sarkisian encounter during a visit to Baku and Yerevan last week. They expressed hope that the two presidents will take a further step towards the acceptance of their proposed basic principles of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“Our target is to try to have [a peace accord] signed in the beginning of summer, in June or so,” Matthew Bryza, the U.S. co-chair, told RFE/RL last Tuesday. “So there is certainly a chance.”

But Nalbandian guarded against any time frames for such a deal as he spoke at a news conference the next day. “Negotiations are continuing on the basis of the principles proposed by the co-chairs, and there is no agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” he said

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