France’s President Francois Hollande will try to revive the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process when he hosts fresh talks between his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts in Paris early next week, the French ambassador in Yerevan said on Wednesday.
Henri Reynaud said the French government expects the upcoming summit to “give new impetus in the substantive sense” to the long-running search for a compromise solution to the Karabakh conflict. It also hopes that Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev will agree on confidence-building measures that will boost “stability on the frontline” around Karabakh and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, he told a news conference.
Aliyev and Sarkisian are scheduled to meet for a third time in over two months. They held talks, mediated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Sochi on August 10 following an upsurge in deadly truce violations in the conflict zone.
The Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders went on to hold a trilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Wales in early September. They also separately met there with Hollande.
The Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Igor Popov and Pierre Andrieu, discussed preparations for the Paris summit with Aliyev and Sarkisian during a visit to Yerevan and Baku last week. Their U.S. colleague, James Warlick, could not take part in the trip for personal reasons.
According to Reynaud, the talks in the French capital will reaffirm that a framework peace accord drafted and repeatedly modified by the three mediating powers remains the basis for the Karabakh peace process. The diplomat emphasized the fact that the proposed settlement combines the internationally recognized principles of territorial integrity of states, peoples’ self-determination and non-use of force.