EU Presidency welcomes discussions on Nagorno-Karabakh

(Source: http://www.se2009.eu/en/meetings_news/2009/7/18/presidency_statement_on_the_nagorno-karabakh_conflict)

The President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, and his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, met in Moscow on the 17 and 18 July to continue negotiations over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Russian president Dmitry Medvedev hosted the talks, which aimed at finding a solution for the dispute which has been ongoing since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The discussions are set to continue when both sides meet again in the autumn.

 

The Swedish Presidency of the European Union released the following statement:

 

“The Presidency of the European Union welcomes the meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow on 17 July, and encourages both parties to continue and intensify their efforts towards a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

 

The Presidency commends the tireless efforts of the Minsk Group Co-Chairmen, consisting of France, the Russian Federation and the United States, and extends to them its full support.”

 

RF ready to continue efforts on Karabakh settlement – Medvedev

(source: http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=14158904&PageNum=0)

 

MOSCOW, July 18 (Itar-Tass) – Talks between the presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, Dmitry Medvedev, Ilkham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan, [were] held in a constructive atmosphere, presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said.

 

“During today’s, fourth, meeting, between presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, Dmitry Medvedev confirmed readiness of Russia as co-chairman of the Minsk Group to continue exerting efforts to find mutually acceptable solutions to the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement,” Prikhodko said on Saturday. “In our view, the meeting was very constructive. It focused on certain problems, which remained open,” he added. “President Aliyev and Sargsyan expressed gratitude to Dmitry Medvedev for his efforts to bring closer the positions of Armenia and Azerbaijan and contribute to the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement,” the Russian presidential aide stressed.

 

The tripartite meeting was held in one of Moscow’s restaurants after horse races for the Russian president’s prize.

 

Armenia, Azerbaijan Hold Another Summit on Karabakh

(Source: Radio Free Europe, http://www.armenialiberty.org/content/article/1779544.html)

 

The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan were in meeting for more than three hours in Russian capital Moscow on Friday late afternoon in the latest round of internationally mediated negotiations over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area. They made no announcement for the press after their negotiations.

 

After two hours of face-to-face discussions, the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliev, were joined by their foreign ministers and the three co-chairmen of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The co-chairmen were expected to make a statement on the meeting later.

 

The Moscow meeting between Sarkisian and Aliev comes amid growing international hopes for a breakthrough in the long-running conflict.

 

On the sidelines of the G8 summit in L’Aquila last week, the presidents of France, Russia, and the United States — the three countries that jointly co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group — urged the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan “to resolve the few differences remaining between them and finalize their agreement” on the most recent draft of the so-called Madrid Principles. That joint statement listed six of those principles proposed by the mediators as a basis for further negotiations. They, in particular, call for the “return of the territories surrounding Karabakh to Azerbaijani control” and “future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will.”

 

Domestically, Sarkisian has faced some pressure several political groups, notably from the hard-line Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). Earlier this week, Dashnaktsutyun called for the resignation of the foreign minister in the Sarkisian cabinet and urged Sarkisian himself not to sign any document based on the Madrid principles in Moscow. Dashnaktsutyun said it considered those principles as damaging to the interests of Karabakh and Armenia. Meanwhile, President Sarkisian emphasized on Wednesday that he wouldn’t sign any document during the Moscow talks. Furthermore, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on Thursday traveled to Stepanakert where he had a two-hour-long meeting with Karabakh President Bako Sahakian.

 

Last week, in addressing a large Dashnaktsutyun-hosted pan-Armenian forum in Stepanakert, Sahakian called for his unrecognized republic’s status of a party to the ongoing negotiations with Azerbaijan. That was followed by an official statement from Karabakh’s foreign ministry and a statement by a group of political parties expressing a similar standpoint.

 

After meeting Sahakian, Nalbandian said Armenia acknowledged that Karabakh should be a full participant in the negotiations. “And this is a necessity and also a guarantee of the success of the peace process,” Nalbandian emphasized.

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