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Russia Hosts Fresh Armenian-Azeri Summit


Russia -- President Dmitry Medvedev (C) meets with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts Serzh Sarkisina and Ilham Aliyev in Sochi, 25Jan2010

Russia -- President Dmitry Medvedev (C) meets with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts Serzh Sarkisina and Ilham Aliyev in Sochi, 25Jan2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hosted on Monday yet another meeting of his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts which appeared to have failed to resolve their remaining differences over a framework agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh proposed by international mediators.

None of the three presidents made public statements after more than two hours of negotiations held in a ski resort near the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov implied that Armenia’s Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev only agreed on a preamble of the basic principles of resolving the Karabakh conflict that have been proposed by the American, French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

“The conversation was useful,” Lavrov told journalists. “The participants discussed the concrete proposals that were presented by the co-chairs. There is a common understanding -- and everybody confirmed that -- on the document’s preamble.”

Russia - Dmitri Medvedev, President of Russia (C), Serzh Sarkisian, President of Armenia (R), and Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan (L) meet in Sochi, Russia,25Jan,2010
“Today the main result was that although some parts of the document are not agreed on by the parties, the parties will prepare their own concrete ideas and formulations that would be added to the text. We are confident that this will help the co-chairs in their further work,” he said.

Lavrov refused to elaborate on the understandings and remaining sticking points. “This is a subject of negotiations between the parties,” he explained.

Aliyev and Sarkisian were due to hold more talks in the presence of the Minsk Group co-chairs later on Friday.

The mediators revealed on Friday that they have modified the basic principles in an effort to make them more acceptable to the conflicting parties. In a joint statement, they declined to specify those changes. The mediators already worked out what they called an “updated version” of the proposed framework agreement when they met in Krakow, Poland in July.

Aliyev and Sarkisian held six face-to-face meetings last year. Medvedev was involved in three of those meetings, underscoring Moscow’s important role in the Karabakh peace process.

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