Armenia and Azerbaijan now have a “historic” chance to resolve the long-running conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, according to U.S. President Barack Obama.
“We stand ready to work with you to seize the historic opportunity to find a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and we welcome the decision you and President [Serzh] Sarkisian have made to meet later this month,” Obama said in a letter to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
The letter was dedicated to the start of Aliyev’s third term in office. Aliyev’s press office publicized it on Thursday, two days after the U.S., Russian and French mediators announced the forthcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani summit.
The precise date and venue of the meeting are not yet known. Both Aliyev and Sarkisian are expected to take part in the European Union’s November 28-29 summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Obama urged the two leaders to meet and try to revive the Karabakh peace process in separate and virtually identical letters sent in September. “With the outlines of the compromise already well established, now is the time for a renewed effort to bring peace to the region,” he wrote.
The mediators on Tuesday urged the conflicting parties to “exercise restraint on the ground as well as in their public statements.” “Military action, particularly at this moment, can only be seen as an attempt to damage the peace process,” they warned in a joint statement that followed their latest talks with Aliyev and Sarkisian.