By Armen Dulian
The OSCE Minsk Group is trying to arrange another meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in a last-ditch attempt to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict this year, its French co-chair Bernard Fassier said on Thursday.
“It will be good if that meeting takes place in June or, if that is not possible, in July,” he told a news conference after holding talks with Armenian leaders in Yerevan.
Fassier, who held similar talks in Baku earlier this week, said Presidents Robert Kocharian and Ilham Aliev would most likely meet on the sidelines of a high-level international forum. The French, Russian and U.S. mediators are already looking for opportunities to again bring the two leaders face to face.
The most recent Armenian-Azerbaijani summit, held at the French chateau of Rambouillet on February 10-11, failed to live up to unusually high expectations fuelled by the mediators’ upbeat statements. Many had hoped that Aliev and Kocharian will reach a framework agreement on Karabakh.
According to Fassier, the Minsk Group co-chairs still hope to build on major progress in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks that was apparently made last year. He pointed to the ongoing flurry of diplomatic activity involving the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers as well as the envoys representing Moscow, Paris and Washington.
Fassier’s U.S. colleague, Steven Mann, is due in Baku and Yerevan later this month. The co-chairs plan to meet in Moscow early next month to discuss details of the possible fresh talks between Aliev and Kocharian, the French diplomat said.
(Photolur photo: Bernard Fassier.)