None of the three presidents made public statements after more than two hours of negotiations held in a ski resort near the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov implied that Armenia’s Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev only agreed on a preamble of the basic principles of resolving the Karabakh conflict that have been proposed by the American, French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.
“The conversation was useful,” Lavrov told journalists. “The participants discussed the concrete proposals that were presented by the co-chairs. There is a common understanding -- and everybody confirmed that -- on the document’s preamble.”
Lavrov refused to elaborate on the understandings and remaining sticking points. “This is a subject of negotiations between the parties,” he explained.
Aliyev and Sarkisian were due to hold more talks in the presence of the Minsk Group co-chairs later on Friday.
The mediators revealed on Friday that they have modified the basic principles in an effort to make them more acceptable to the conflicting parties. In a joint statement, they declined to specify those changes. The mediators already worked out what they called an “updated version” of the proposed framework agreement when they met in Krakow, Poland in July.
Aliyev and Sarkisian held six face-to-face meetings last year. Medvedev was involved in three of those meetings, underscoring Moscow’s important role in the Karabakh peace process.