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Russia Reports Progress In Armenian-Azeri Talks


Russia -- President Dmitry Medvedev (R) meetings with Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan Serzh Sarkisian (L) and Ilham Aliyev in St. Petersburg, 17Jun2010

Russia -- President Dmitry Medvedev (R) meetings with Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan Serzh Sarkisian (L) and Ilham Aliyev in St. Petersburg, 17Jun2010

The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan narrowed their differences on the existing international plan to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in fresh talks hosted by their Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, the Kremlin said late on Thursday. (UPDATED)


Medvedev and Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev met in the Russian city of Saint-Petersburg earlier in the day on the margins of an international economic forum.

A statement by the Russian president’s press service said the talks focused on “pivotal problems” hampering a Karabakh settlement proposed by Russia, the United States and France. “There was observed a convergence of positions on several contentious provisions of the text of the basic principles of the settlement,” it said.

“The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia confirmed their readiness to continue the dialogue aimed at completing the work on this document under the mediation of Russia, the USA and France,” the statement added without elaboration.

Aliyev’s and Sarkisian’s offices did not report further progress towards Karabakh peace in short press releases on the Saint-Petersburg meeting.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian called the talks “an important milestone in the Karabakh negotiating process” but was also vague about their results. He told journalists that that Aliyev and Sarkisian “took note of what they have achieved as a result of their meetings so far” and instructed their foreign ministers to “continue contacts.”

Armenia -- President Serzh Sarkisian (R) meets with the U.S., Russian and Frech co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in Saint-Petersburg, 18June 2010.
“Meetings involving President Medvedev enable the parties to bring their positions closer to each other and to further clarify their approaches to those issues that have not been agreed upon, which allows them to continue negotiations and move forward,” Nalbandian said.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents held separate consultations in Saint-Petersburg on Friday with the Russian, U.S. and French diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group. Sarkisian, according to his office, discussed with them “issues related to the current phase” of the negotiating process.

According to Nalbandian, the three co-chairs will visit Armenia and Azerbaijan “in early July.”
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