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EU Also Hails Aliyev-Sarkisian Talks


Switzerland -- EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton attends a press conference closing two days of closed-door nuclear talks on October 16, 2013 in Geneva.

Switzerland -- EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton attends a press conference closing two days of closed-door nuclear talks on October 16, 2013 in Geneva.

The European Union on Thursday welcomed the latest Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Vienna and offered to contribute to international efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“The Presidents' agreement to advance negotiations and meet again in the months ahead is encouraging,” a spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign and security policy chief, said in a statement.

“The European Union is ready to engage in renewed efforts towards political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and to further contribute to peace-building efforts, in support of and in full complementarity with the OSCE Minsk Group,” said the statement.

The statement did not specify just how the EU is willing to step up its involvement in the Karabakh peace process. EU officials have said until now that the 28-nation bloc could only assist in post-conflict rehabilitation through large-scale economic assistance to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabakh.

A key EU member state, France, co-chairs the OSCE Minsk Group on Karabakh along with the United States and Russia. Diplomats from the three mediating powers were present at Tuesday’s meeting in Vienna between Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev, the first such summit in nearly two years.

The U.S. State Department described the Aliyev-Sarkisian talks as an “important step toward restarting dialogue” between the conflicting parties. It also urged the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders to “work actively towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”
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