YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Former Armenian President Robert Kocharian met with Washington’s top Nagorno-Karabakh negotiator in Yerevan at the weekend to discuss the current status of Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks, his spokesman said on Thursday.
Viktor Soghomonian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that Kocharian and Robert Bradtke, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, spoke about “issues related to the current phase” of the Karabakh peace process. He did not elaborate.
The meeting took place during the latest visit to Armenia and Karabakh by Bradtke and fellow Minsk Group co-chairs from Russia and France. The mediating troika held talks with President Serzh Sarkisian on Monday.
The meeting came amid signs of Kocharian’s growing interest in domestic and external political developments. The former president has recently criticized the Armenian government’s economic policies and defended his decisions regarding the Karabakh conflict. That has fueled more speculation about his desire to return to government.
Sarkisian’s and Kocharian’s allies say the mediators’ existing “basic principles” of Karabakh peace are in fact far more favorable for the Armenians as they call for a referendum in Karabakh that would almost certainly legitimize its secession from Azerbaijan. They argue that the 1997 plan did not envisage any mechanisms for determining Karabakh’s status.