VIENNA (ArmeniaNow) — President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan agreed to respect the ceasefire in Nagorno Karabagh and resume their dialogue to find a compromise peace deal during internationally mediated talks in Vienna, Austria, late on Monday, May 16.
The two leaders met for the first time since last month’s four-day hostilities in Artsakh that left scores killed and injured on both sides in the worst violence since 1994.
The meeting was co-hosted by United States Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and France’s State Secretary for Europe Affairs Harlem Desir – the top diplomats of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group co-chair countries.
After the meeting the top American, Russian and French diplomats said that Sargsyan and Aliyev will meet again in June to try to revive the peace process and reiterated that “there can be no military solution to the conflict.”
“The Presidents reiterated their commitment to the ceasefire and the peaceful settlement of the conflict,” reads a joint statement issued by Kerry, Lavrov and Desire after the meeting and published on the OSCE official website. “To reduce the risk of further violence, they agreed to finalize in the shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism. The Presidents also agreed to the expansion of the existing Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office.”
According to the statement, Sargsyan and Aliyev also agreed on a “next round of talks, to be held in June at a place to be mutually agreed, with an aim to resuming negotiations on a comprehensive settlement.”