Armenian, Azeri Presidents to Meet

BAKU (Armenpress)–The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan may meet again within two months to make further progress towards the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Yuri Merzlyakov, the Russian co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group told a press conference Tuesday.

He said both Presidents Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan have agreed to the meeting. “Only the time and place of the meeting remain to be clarified.”

The U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-heading the OSCE Minsk Group spoke with leaders in Stepanakert and Yerevan before proceeding to Baku where they already held talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at the start of their latest round of regional shuttle diplomacy late last week.

The upcoming meeting, Merzlyakov said, will be held on the sidelines of a yet to be determined international conference, within the framework of the ongoing internationally mediated peace talks.

A possible venue for that meeting is the EU summit in Prague on May 7 to launch the new Eastern Partnership program that encompasses both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Discussing the current format of negotiations, the group’s French co-chair, Bernard Fassier, discussed Karabakh’s participation in the peace talks. “When we speak about the necessity of participation of the Karabakh side in the negotiations, we mean not only Armenia’s who live in Nagorno Karabakh at present, but also the Azerbaijanis who lived there formerly.”

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