Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents to meet in Geneva next week

Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents to meet in Geneva next week

YEREVAN, October 13. /ARKA/.  Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, next week in an attempt to resume the talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, the deputy chairman of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HAK) Armen Ashotyan said following a meeting of the party’s executive body late on Thursday. 

Ashotyan, who is also chairman of a parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, said during the executive body’s meeting the president spoke about a meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State and the Supreme Council of the Eurasian Economic Union in Sochi and touched upon his upcoming meeting with Azerbaijani opposite number next week in Geneva initiated by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Ashotyan also noted that, despite recent statements by Azerbaijani officials that the Karabakh conflict negotiations will be started without preconditions, the Armenian president, nevertheless, will participate in the meeting to remain committed to the format of the negotiation process. 

Speaking about expectations from the upcoming meeting, he said for a successful negotiation process, it is necessary to create an atmosphere of confidence, to provide the OSCE mission with broader powers, to create reliable mechanisms for investigating incidents (at the border) - in other words, to restore the existing, albeit weak trust towards Armenia’s neighbor, which was there before the April war.

In this regard, Ashotyan added that the negotiation process is continuing, but at this stage it is more important to restore the atmosphere of trust within this process, which will allow the sides to look more optimistically towards the negotiating future.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.  On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. 

A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh.  

Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year. On April 2, 2016, Azerbaijan launched military assaults along the entire perimeter of its contact line with Nagorno-Karabakh. Four days later a cease-fire was reached. ---0---

10:06 13.10.2017





 

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