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New Karabakh Plan ‘Largely Acceptable’ To Azerbaijan


Belgium -- Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at a EU-Azerbaijan cooperation council in Brussels, 26Oct2009

Belgium -- Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at a EU-Azerbaijan cooperation council in Brussels, 26Oct2009

Azerbaijan reaffirmed its stated acceptance, in principle, of a recently modified international plan to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict after its Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met the American, French and Russian mediators in Paris at the weekend.

In a short statement, the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group said they discussed with Mammadyarov the “updated version” of their basic principles of a Karabakh settlement.

“They assessed the current stage of the negotiations and considered comments of both the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides on the updated Madrid Principles, which were presented to them by the Co-Chairs in December 2009 and January 2010,” read the statement.

The APA news agency quoted a spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry as saying Mammadyarov told the mediators that Baku “on the whole accepts the document … barring a number of exceptions.” “The co-chairs pointed out that they will continue discussing the issue with the Armenian side and will intensify the process,” the official, Elkhan Polukhov, said.

“The Co-Chairs plan to meet Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Paris later this month for a similar discussion, prior to going to the region,” confirmed the mediators.

Nalbandian will accompany President Serzh Sarkisian on an official visit to France that begins on Tuesday. An Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman could not say on Monday whether he will meet the co-chairs on the sidelines of the trip.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents are understood to have discussed the updated Madrid document at their January 25 talks in Russia hosted by President Dmitry Medvedev. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said they agreed to “prepare their own concrete ideas and formulations” on their remaining disagreements.

Garnik Isagulian, an aide to Sarkisian, said last week that the Armenian side has already sent relevant proposals to the mediators. But he said he is unaware of their content.

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