Kocharian Aliyev Foresee More Frequent Meetings

WARSAW (AFP/Armenpress)–The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia met on Wednesday on the sidelines of a European economic summit to discuss the Mountainous Karabagh conflict.

"They had a constructive discussion. They have agreed to meet again. No date was set," said a diplomat–after what was only the second meeting between Armenian President Robert Kocharian and his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev. The two last met in December–while the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan have met more recently.

President Kocharian told reporters that an agreement was reached for the foreign ministers of both countries to meet regularly. Armenia’s foreign minister Vartan Oskanian and his Azeri counterpart Elmar Mamedyarov will meet in May.

In turn–the presidents agreed to meet on the sidelines of international summits–conferences–and meetings to continue peace talks. Kocharian said he was satisfied with the basic nature of the Warsaw meeting.

The entire body of the Minsk Group–a 13-nation grouping within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that has been seeking to mediate between the two sides–was present during the meeting.

"The Azeri side wants to regulate this issue; a similar will is noticed from the Armenian side as well. That’s why we may find a way out and progress," Aliyev said.

Mamedyarov said that Azerbaijan’s approach in negotiations is to propose the return of "occupied" lands and restoration of transportation routes.

Asked whether Azerbaijan deman’s that negotiations start from scratch–and whether previous Azeri President Heidar Aliyev’s approach was wrong–the foreign minister said–"We do not say that the peace talks must be started from the very beginning," and suggested that previous negotiations and headway be reassessed based on the most recent dialogue between Kocharian and Aliyev.


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