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Mediators End Another Round Of Karabakh Diplomacy


Armenia - President Serzh Sarkisian (R) meets with the U.S., French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in Yervan, 14May2012.

Armenia - President Serzh Sarkisian (R) meets with the U.S., French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in Yervan, 14May2012.

International mediators gave no indication of progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process on Monday after meeting with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in a fresh of regional shuttle diplomacy.

The U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group met with President Serzh Sarkisian in Yerevan on Saturday before travelling to Baku for similar talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev. Official Armenian and Azerbaijani sources gave no details of those talks.

In a joint statement issued in the Azerbaijani capital, the co-chairs said they held further discussions with the parties on “how to implement the commitments” made by Aliyev and Sarkisian at their most recent meeting held in Sochi, Russia in January.

The two presidents pledged to “accelerate the achievement of an agreement on the Basic Principles” of a Karabakh settlement put forward by the Minsk Group co-chairs in a statement released after the Sochi talks. The mediating troika toured the conflict zone shortly afterwards to present the parties with a plan of actions meant to help them fulfill that pledge.

The mediators’ latest statement made no specific mention of that plan. It said they also discussed with the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders a possible “mechanism” for jointly investigating ceasefire violations around Karabakh and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

“The Co-Chairs expressed their concern over recent incidents along the frontlines, and urged the sides to exercise restraint and refrain from retaliation,” the statement said. “The Co-Chairs welcomed the sides’ reaffirmation of their commitment to seek a peaceful settlement.”

U.S. envoy Robert Bradtke, Russia’s Igor Popov and France’s Jacques Faure added that they plan to hold follow-up negotiations with the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers “in the near future.”
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