International mediators appear to have failed to arrange a fresh meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents during a series of consultations held with the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the last three weeks.
The U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have repeatedly met with the foreign ministers of the two warring nations since February 22 in an effort to organize the next Armenian-Azerbaijani summit which they hope will break the current impasse in the Karabakh peace process.
In a joint statement issued in Moscow late on Wednesday, they stressed “the need for further talks at the highest level to advance the peace process” but announced no agreements on the summit’s date and agenda. They said they discussed with the ministers unspecified “issues raised by the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan during their November 2013 meeting in Vienna.”
“The Co-Chairs plan to visit the region in the next month,” concluded the statement issued the day after their latest talks with Foreign Edward Nalbandian that were held in Moscow.
The troika met with Azerbaijan’s Elmar Mammadyarov in Paris on Monday. Writing on his Twitter page ahead of that meeting, James, Warlick, the U.S. co-chair, said, “We hope the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan will meet this month. Only they can address the most difficult issues of peace.”
There have been suggestions that Russia’s deepening confrontation with the West over the crisis in Ukraine could further complicate the protracted search for Karabakh peace. The United States and the European Union are threatening to impose sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its military intervention in Ukraine’s autonomous republic of Crimea.
Warlick insisted in another tweet early on Thursday that the U.S, France and Russia will continue to “work together to support efforts for peace.” “Consultations in Moscow on Nagorno-Karabakh were valuable,” he wrote.