No agreement at Azerbaijani-Armenian talks

Fri 24 Jun 2011 16:33 GMT | 20:33 Local Time

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The Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents have failed to reach agreement on the Karabakh peace process at a meeting mediated by the Russian president.

A joint statement issued after the meeting in the Russian city of Kazan on Friday said, however, that some progress had been made, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

"The heads of state confirmed mutual understanding on a range of issues, the resolution of which contributes to the creation of the conditions for the approval of the Basic Principles [for a Karabakh settlement]," the joint statement said.

The document says that the participants in the meeting reviewed work done on reaching agreement on the draft Basic Principles.

As the delegations were settling themselves at the negotiating table, the Russian president commented: "To achieve a result, it is necessary to be close to each other."

The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia expressed their gratitude to the leaders of Russia, the USA and France, the countries co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group, "for their constant attention to the problem of a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement". They praised the personal efforts of the Rusian Federation president to help the sides reach agreement, the joint statement said.

The outcome of the summit was predictable,” Russian political analyst Alexey Vlasov told RIA Novosti. “But the most important factor for a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict…is how much the sides listen to Russia.”

The Kazan summit was the ninth trilateral meeting of the presidents since 2008 and the second this year. The previous summit was hled on 5 March in Sochi.

The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, mediating a settlement to the conflict, and the US and French presidents personally had all urged the Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders to seize the moment and reach agreement on the Basic Principles at the Kazan summmit.

The Basic Principles for a settlement of the Karabakh conflict, also known as the Madrid principles, were submitted to Azerbaijan and Armenia by the  foreign ministers of France and Russia and the US secretary of state's assistant in November 2007. The mediators presented an updated version of the principles to the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides in 2010.

The principles include: the return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control; an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance; a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh; the future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will; the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence; and international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation.

Earlier in the day the Azerbaijan, Armenian and Russian presidents had lunch together.

After the summit, the Russian and Armenian presidents left to watch the annual horse race for the Russian President's Cup. The race was won by a stallion from Tajikistan, Korol or King.




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