The special Nagorno-Karabakh envoys of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents will begin on Tuesday a new round of talks in Strasbourg sponsored by international mediators, the Foreign Ministry in Yerevan announced on Monday.
A ministry statement said the deputy foreign ministers of the two conflicting states, Tatul Markarian and Araz Azimov, will also brief a key standing committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on the current state of the negotiating process. It said the “discussions” will also be attended by the French, Russian and U.S. co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, the main international mediating body on Karabakh.
Markarian and Azimov held three such sessions in the presence of the Minsk Group troika last year but reported no progress afterwards. Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian told RFE/RL earlier that the two envoys will maintain “more active” contacts this year to offset the expected suspension of regular face-to-face meetings between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents due to presidential elections in both countries.
“There is a quite good base for moving this process forward faster after the presidential elections,” Oskanian said, indicating that the two leaders are confident their reelection.