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Medvedev, Aliyev, Sargsyan to meet in Kazan June 24 – Kremlin

24. June 2011. | 15:37

Source: Itar-Tass

Presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, Dmitry Medvedev, Ilkham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan will meet in Kazan on June 24, the Kremlin reported on Monday.

Presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, Dmitry Medvedev, Ilkham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan will meet in Kazan on June 24, the Kremlin reported on Monday.

“Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will arrive in Kazan on June 24 at the invitation of his Russian colleague Dmitry Medvedev for a regular tripartite meeting on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement,” the Kremlin press service reported.

“The presidents of three countries will discuss the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the press service said.

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, the Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents will meet on June 25.

Commenting on the upcoming meeting, Lukashevich said, “Of course, we pin big hopes on it. As you know in compliance with the earlier reached agreements the upcoming summit will focus on the so-called fundamental principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.”

“The principles were being finalised at the meetings of the foreign ministers of three countries that were held in Moscow in April and in June. The discussions showed that the parties had succeeded in bringing closer their positions on key issues.” “The presidents will also discuss these issues and take corresponding decisions,” Lukashevich added.

“Russia hopes for progress in this process. We hope that the process will move more actively,” he said. “This is indicated by the statement of the three presidents, the co-chairmen of the Minsk Group [Russia, the U.S. and France] made in Deauville. It was, perhaps, the first time that the task of achieving specific arrangements was set so clearly and precisely,” Lukashevich said.

In Deauville, Dmitry Medvedev, Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama called on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan “to show political will and complete the work on the basic principle [of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict] during the upcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in June”.

The landlocked mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is the subject of an unresolved dispute between Azerbaijan, in which it lies, and its ethnic Armenian majority, backed by neighbouring Armenia.

In 1988, towards the end of Soviet rule, Azerbaijani troops and Armenian secessionists began a bloody war, which left the de facto independent state in the hands of ethnic Armenians when a truce was signed in 1994.

Negotiations have so far failed to produce a permanent peace agreement, and the dispute remains one of post-Soviet Europe's "frozen conflicts." With the break-up of the Soviet Union, in late 1991, Karabakh declared itself an independent republic, further escalating the conflict into a full-scale war. That de facto status has not been recognised elsewhere.

In a December 2006 referendum, declared illegitimate by Azerbaijan, the region approved a new constitution. Nonetheless, there have since been signs of life in the peace process, with occasional meetings between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents. Significant progress was reported at talks between the leaders in May and November 2009, but progress then stalled, and tension began rising again as of 2010.

The OSCE Minsk Group was created in 1992 by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE, now Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)) to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. The Minsk Group is headed by Russia, France and the United States.

An additional format had been created over the Karabakh settlement – Russia plays a mediating role. The presidents of three countries met in Astrakhan in October 2010.

They adopted a joint declaration after the meeting. “This is a special declaration on the enhancement of confidence-building measures,” Medvedev said, adding that the document envisioned “an exchange of prisoners of war and the return of the bodies.”

“Having confirmed the provisions of the joint Declaration signed in Moscow on November 2, 2008, the presidents stressed that the resolution of the conflict by political and diplomatic means requires further efforts to strengthen the ceasefire and military confidence-building measures,” the joint statement said.


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