By Ruben Meloyan
A team of U.S., Russian and French mediators met Armenian leaders in Yerevan on Monday at the end of yet another regional tour aimed at speeding up a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group discussed with President Serzh Sarkisian the current state of the peace process and, in particular, the results of his recent meeting in Zurich with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliev. According to the Armenian presidential press service, they briefed Sarkisian on their talks with Aliev in Baku late last week.
A statement by the service cited Sarkisian as complaining about “statements contradicting the logic of the negotiating process.” It did not elaborate.
The mediators also met Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian both before and after the talks with Sarkisian. An Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tigran Balayan, said Nalbandian welcomed their recent statement which stressed that the Karabakh disputed can not be settled by force.
In that statement issued on February 19, the co-chairs also said that they will visit the conflict zone to “help the parties to accelerate their efforts to finalize the Basic Principles” of a Karabakh settlement proposed by them.
The co-chairs traveled to Stepanakert on Saturday to meet with Karabakh President Bako Sahakian. The talks lasted for three hours.
“We discussed concrete issues on concrete projects,” Yuri Merzlyakov of Russia told RFE/RL afterwards. “I therefore think that the time that we spent together was not in vain.” He declined to give details.