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AZERBAIJAN, ARMENIA AGREE ON ’BASIC IDEAS’ OF RESOLVING KARABAKH


Ecrit par , 2009-05-13 10:24:39


The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed on the "basic ideas" of resolving the Nagorno-Karbakh conflict during a meeting in the Czech capital of Prague, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed on the "basic ideas" of resolving the Nagorno-Karbakh conflict during a meeting in the Czech capital of Prague, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia met at the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Prague, another in a series of meetings aimed to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"They were able... to reduce their differences on basic principles and generally agree on the basic ideas they came here to discuss," Reuters quoted OSCE Minsk Group American Co-chair Mettew Bryza as telling reporters after the meeting.

"For the first time the presidents agreed on basic ideas surrounding these (long discussed) points," he added, refusing to give details on the substance of the talks.

French envoy Bernard Fassier said there was a still a lot of work ahead, adding "We are preparing a breakthrough, we are in a position to identify what could be the break, but we are not yet through."

The next meeting between the leaders is expected to take place in St. Petersburg in the coming weeks, Azeri media also quoted Bryza as saying.

Aliyev and Sargsyan discussed the issue as part of international mediation efforts led by the United States, Russia and France, which co-chair the Minsk Group that is seeking to resolve the conflict, AP earlier quoted the U.S. Embassy as saying in a statement.

Both presidents were in Prague to attend a summit at which the European Union planned to offer aid and trade accords to six ex-Soviet republics to ease Moscow’s hold over them.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton encouraged Baku and Yerevan to resolve the dispute when she held separate meetings with Azeri and Armenian foreign ministers in Washington on Tuesday.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul will also meet separately Aliyev and Sargsyan on the sidelines of the summit later in the day.

Ankara cut diplomatic links with Yerevan and closed the border in a show of support to Azerbaijan in 1993 after 20 percent of its territory was invaded by Armenia in the disputed region — a frozen conflict legacy of the Soviet Union known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

Turkey and Armenia, however, agreed last month on a "road map" deal for U.S.-backed talks that could lead to the normalizing of ties and the opening of their border.

The Turkey-Armenia thaw and the efforts to seek solutions to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are expected to be discussed in Gul’s meetings with Aliyev and Sargsyan.

Holding a press conference in the Turkish capital Ankara prior to his departure for Prague, Gul ruled out the possibility of a trilateral meeting between the three presidents.

Mot-clé :
Haut-Karabagh Massacres Khojaly
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