Armenian, Azeri Presidents Meet in Wales

NEWPORT, Wales (Vestnik kavkaza) — Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serge Sargisian and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the prospects of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the NATO summit here this past week. Kerry emphasized that there was no alternative to a peaceful resolution of the conflict and urged the presidents to strengthen trust and de-escalate the situation on the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani forces.

Kerry corroborated US support for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group as a platform for negotiations, adding that he would join the process himself if necessary. He emphasized that the political willingness of the sides of the conflict was the main component to end the dispute.

French President Francois Hollande also met with Aliyev and Sargisian. The sides expressed satisfaction with the development of contacts and emphasized prospects for strengthening of cooperation in the economic, political and cultural sectors. Hollande plans to meet the presidents in France soon.

Both Alivey and Sargisian spoke at the summit. While Aliyev’s speech has not been made public, Sargisian warned attendees of the NATO summit against putting the Nagorno-Karabagh issue in the final declaration. He urged members of the Alliance to follow the common sense and rhetoric of the OSCE Minsk Group when passing a document on the Karabagh problem.

Meanwhile, in Armenia, US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern told journalists that the two presidents will meet in France at the end of October.

“We think that the meeting of the heads of the two countries will be held at the invitation of President of France Francois Hollande, but at the moment the co-chairs do not have new proposals to the parties. Now the main goal is that the parties meet and search new ways to register success in the negotiations and reach the conflict settlement step by step,” Heffern added.