Minsk Group Meets with Aliyev in Baku

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BAKU (RFE/RL)–International mediators visited Baku on Friday to start preparations for more talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents which they hope will lead to a framework peace accord on Nagorno-Karabakh next year.

The American, French and Russian diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group said they met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to “follow up” on his last meeting with Armenia’s Serzh Sarkisian held in Munich on November 22. The co-chairs do not plan to meet with Sarkisian while in the region.

In a joint statement, the mediators said they also intend to visit Yerevan in early January. “These visits will prepare the way for further meetings between the two presidents in 2010 to finalize the Basic Principles for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” they said.

Aliyev and Sarkisian held six face-to-face meetings this year and reportedly narrowed their differences over the basic principles. Their foreign ministers reaffirmed the two sides’ “commitment to work intensively to resolve the remaining issues” after two-day negotiations with the mediators held in Athens last week.

In a joint statement issued there, top diplomats from the United States, Russia and France urged Baku and Yerevan to “complete this work as soon as possible.” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he is confident that this will be done “in the coming months.”

The statement, also signed by the Armenian and Azerbaijani ministers, said the conflict’s resolution should be based on the internationally recognized principles of non-use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity and self-determination of peoples. The conflicting parties made different interpretations of those principles, however, with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov speaking of “self-governance for Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan.”

The Armenian side says, on the other hand, that under the proposed settlement, Karabakh’s population would be able to vote for independence, reunification with Armenia or return under Azerbaijani rule.

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7 Comments

  1. Lusik said:

    1. Armenians of Armenia are not the winners of the war. Armenian President is not eligible for the negotiations. Armenians of Artsakh are the owners of the situation. Call them for negotiations!

    2. Is Artsakh a member of OSCE? Foreign diplomats can do work on war-peace, if Artsakh has given them such mandate. Otherwise they have other reasons for such often visits to the region.
    3. There is no such thing in diplomacy or politics like “international rules”. There are INTERPRETATIONS! Ask Obama. Yesterday he justified jihad!

  2. Kisul said:

    this kouchner has promised in israel that it will be safe-and-secure to invest in azerbaijan starting 2010. he gets his confidence from nothingness, although. just testing us. how “resilient” we are. the only word obama found to describe Armenians in his April 24 speech.

  3. roni said:

    Fact show that the Armenian leaders are not competent negotiators therefore i think
    karabakh leaders should be engaged in the negotiations

  4. Henri said:

    It is easy to discredit a government of any country. State officials are not heroes. When Obama was elected, the world celebrated a victory against the Bush administration. Obama is a politician, he is not a Martin Luther King Jr. .. Serzh Sargsyan is the President, he is not a hero. He is from Karabakh. He is in a political manoeuvrings and will defend Karabakh interests. Karabakh is not yet in these political manoeuvrings but having a president from Karabakh is the next best thing. With Sargsyan, Armenia is showing that it can have achieve diplomatic and economic relations with Turkey without preconditions like any civilized country should have and the world is seeing Turkey constant linkage of the Karabakh precondition and denials and Azerbaijan’s official war threats and anti-armenian agenda.

  5. B. Baronian said:

    Obama is a has been…he will lose the next elections by some a margin…it will be the largest democratic defeat ever…wait and see…..The OSCE is a useless body…it cannot and will not be permitted to decide the fate of Armenia and Armenians and they know it…all they are doing is just prolonging the reason for their own existence…otherwise they are totally useless as is the United States in the Middle East…Does anyone truly believe the USA can resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict…? dream on…same for the Turkish-Armenian issue…No USA..No USA…No USA…!
    Russia will recognize Karabah…just wait and see…not because of their love for Armenia…but because they will not ever lose the chess game going on in the Caucasus…just a matter of time before Russia calls a check mate….atthe appropriate time…

  6. Alex Postallian said:

    The peace process is between the Armenians and Azerbaijan,not turkey,U.S.etcIf you took the OIL out of it.If the Karabakh  votes to be a part of Armenia,thats it.Get the oil mongers out of it.

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