Mediators End another Round of Karabagh Diplomacy


BAKU (RFE/RL) — International mediators gave no indication of progress in the Nagorno-Karabagh peace process on Monday after meeting with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in a fresh round of regional shuttle diplomacy.

The US, Russian and French co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group met with President Serge Sargisian in Yerevan on Saturday before traveling to Baku for similar talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev. Official Armenian and Azerbaijani sources gave no details of those talks.

In a joint statement issued in the Azerbaijani capital, the co-chairs said they held further discussions with the parties on “how to implement the commitments” made by Aliyev and Sargisian at their most recent meeting held in Sochi, Russia in January.

The two presidents pledged to “accelerate the achievement of an agreement on the Basic Principles” of a Karabagh settlement put forward by the Minsk Group cochairs in a statement released after the Sochi talks. The mediating troika toured the conflict zone shortly afterwards to present the parties with a plan of actions meant to help them fulfill that pledge.

The mediators’ latest statement made no specific mention of that plan. It said they also discussed with the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders a possible “mechanism” for jointly investigating ceasefire violations round Karabagh and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

“The co-chairs expressed their concern over recent incidents along the frontlines and urged the sides to exercise restraint and refrain from retaliation,” the statement said. “The co-chairs welcomed the sides’ reaffirmation of their commitment to seek a peaceful settlement.”

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US envoy Robert Bradtke, Russia’s Igor Popov and France’s Jacques Faure added that they plan to hold follow-up negotiations with the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers “in the near future.”

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