Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding “intensive” discussions with to try to arrange a fresh meeting of their presidents on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, international mediators said in Yerevan on Friday.
The U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-heading the OSCE Minsk Group met with President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian during a fresh tour of the conflict zone. They held talks with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku on Thursday.
“The [foreign] ministers are working very intensively,” said Igor Popov, the group’s Russian co-chair. “As you know, there was a round of negotiations in Paris. We then met in Krakow [on May 17.] All this work is aimed at preparing ground for a meeting of the presidents.”
“There is no such agreement yet,” Popov told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
Aliyev and Sarkisian most recently met in the Russian city of Sochi in January 2012. The talks were hosted by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. In a joint written statement issued there, Aliyev and Sarkisian pledged to intensify their efforts to agree on the Basic Principles of a Karabakh settlement put forward by the international mediators.
However, the conflicting parties have since made no progress towards bridging their differences on the proposed peace accord.
Nalbandian spoke of the possibility of a fresh Armenian-Azerbaijani summit during a visit to Moscow late last month. But he gave no possible dates for such a meeting.
Official sources gave few details of the mediators’ latest talks in Baku and Yerevan. Sarkisian’s press office said only that the Armenian leader discussed with them “issues related to the current stage of the negotiating process and further steps.”