SOCHI (RFE/RL) — The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan said they will seek a peaceful solution to the Nagorno- Karabagh conflict but announced no breakthrough after fresh talks hosted by their Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, over the weekend.
The three leaders met in this southern Russian city in yet another attempt to break the deadlock in Armenian- Azerbaijani peace talks mediated by Russia, the United States and France. Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serge Sargisian also held separate talks there with American, French and Russian diplomats co-chairing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group.
In a joint statement with Medvedev, Aliyev and Sargisian said they will “seek to resolve all contentious issues by peaceful means” and investigate all ceasefire violations in the conflict zone together with representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
“The presidents noted the importance of their regular contacts on issues of the Nagorno-Karabagh settlement and agreed to continue them in the same format to complement the work of the [US, Russian and French] co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group,” read the statement.
Aliyev and Sargisian also agreed to complete the exchange of prisoners of war “within the shortest period of time.”
They already reached such an agreement at their previous trilateral meeting with Medvedev that was held in another Russian city, Astrakhan, last October. The conflicting parties have only swapped the bodies of dead soldiers and civilians so far.