Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with his visiting Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday for what he described as “extremely frank” talks on the future of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.
The two leaders made no public statements after the meeting held in the southern Russian city of Sochi.
The Kremlin said they discussed “pivotal issues in Russian-Azerbaijani relations” and “the state of the negotiating process on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.” It gave no details.
“Of course, the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement is one of the most important topics,” Medvedev told Aliyev in televised remarks made at the start of the talks.
“I would like have an extremely frank conversation with you about what to do next, about how events could develop considering our last trilateral meeting [on June 24 with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian] that was held in Kazan and previous meetings held in the same format,” he said.
Contrary to high international expectations, the Kazan meeting did not yield an agreement on the basic principles of resolving the Karabakh settlement proposed by Russia and the two other mediating powers, the United States and France.
Medvedev subsequently presented Aliyev and Sarkisian with a set of unpublicized proposals aimed at salvaging the peace process. The content of their replies sent to the Russian president last month remains unknown.
Aliyev on Tuesday praised Medvedev’s active involvement in the search for Karabakh peace. He said the nearly one dozen Armenian-Azerbaijan summits organized by Medvedev in the last three years “have very much made the parties’ positions closer to each other.”
“This is the main problem of regional security and, of course, Azerbaijan is interested in a quick resolution of the conflict more than anyone else,” added Aliyev.
It is not yet clear whether Medvedev plans to hold soon similar talks with Sarkisian as well.