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Mediators ‘Working On New Armenian-Azeri Summit’


Armenia - The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group -- James Warlick (L), Igor Popov (C) and Pierre Andrieu -- at a news conference in Yerevan, 9Apr2016.

Armenia - The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group -- James Warlick (L), Igor Popov (C) and Pierre Andrieu -- at a news conference in Yerevan, 9Apr2016.

The French, Russian and U.S. mediators hope to organize a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents soon in a bid to prevent another escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a French diplomat reportedly said on Tuesday.

“We have met with the presidents of the two countries and are now trying to organize a meeting of the presidents,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Pierre Andrieu, the French co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, as saying in Baku.

“The ceasefire regime must not be violated and the negotiation process should start as soon as possible,” he told reporters.

Andrieu accompanied France’s State Secretary for European Affairs Harlem Desir on a visit to Yerevan and Baku aimed at defusing tensions after the April 2-5 heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces around Karabakh.

According to the APA news agency, Desir spoke on Tuesday of a “grave threat” of renewed hostilities in the conflict zone. “A military solution to the conflict is impossible,” he said in the Azerbaijani capital.

Speaking ahead of his meeting with Desir on Monday, President Serzh Sarkisian said Armenia will not resume peace talks unless Azerbaijan agrees to safeguards against ceasefire violations proposed by international mediators. Baku has opposed them until now.

Desir voiced strong support for the confidence-building measures after his talks in Yerevan. The French official said the OSCE should deploy observers and gunfire-locator systems on the Karabakh “line of contact” that “would allow us to verify compliance with the ceasefire regime.”

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