STEPANAKERT (ArmRadio)—International mediators working for a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict canceled a scheduled visit to Stepanakert Tuesday along their latest tour of the region, The Karabakh President’s press office reported.
The visit to Stepanakert was canceled due to bad weather, it said. This marks the second time in recent months that the US, French, and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have canceled a scheduled visit to Stepanakert while visiting Baku and Yerevan.
The group is still scheduled to arrive in Yerevan on Wednesday for talks with President Serzh Sarkisian and his foreign minister Eduard Nalbandian. It will then travel to Baku Thursday for a similar meeting with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and his foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
This latest tour of the region is to prepare the groundwork for a new summit this month in Moscow between Sarkisian and Aliyev. The Minsk Group hopes the two presidents will remove the final obstacles to signing a framework peace accord when they meet.
But Stepanakert is less optimistic. Karabakh, which is not given a seat at the negotiations table, has repeatedly stressed that its involvement in the peace process as a full-fledged actor, is necessary to reach a lasting solution the conflict.
“I don’t expect that we will register such success in the course of this year,” Karabakh’s President, Bako Sahakian said on July 3. “Not just this year but any other time. We can never anticipate a breakthrough as long as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic does not participate in the process.”