YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan met November 30 in Minsk–Belarus–while attending a CIS summit.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting–Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev said the meeting was another attempt at finding a mutually acceptable peace plan for the Karabakh conflict. President Kocharian noted that an arrangement was reached to engage in more active contacts. According to Kocharian–the problem is that further developmen’s in the two countries must be taken into account. Presidential elections are expected to be held in both Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2003. In Kocharian’s words–certain discussions have to occur before that date. Otherwise the issue may be exploited by forces not interested in the soonest settlement of the conflict
In related news–Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Azerbaijani counterpart Aliyev also met that same evening to discuss issues related to Putin’s upcoming visit to Baku scheduled for January 9-11–2001. Prospects for further development of bilateral relations–and the situation in the South Caucasus were also discussed.