YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The President’s of Armenia and Azerbaijan are set to meet Thursday for talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in St. Petersburg, Russia, Armenian Public Radio reported.
The meeting is being organized by the OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by the US, France and Russia, and will occur on the sidelines of a two day conference on international economics.
In advance of the meeting in St. Petersburg, the Minsk Group co-chairs are claiming to have worked out concrete proposals for a resolution. They say the only thing standing in the way of an agreement on a final document is the will of the two countries’ presidents.
Matthew Bryza, the U.S. co-chair, told RFE/RL that he hopes the two presidents “will find a common language” at this “very serious moment” of the talks. He added that the confidence between the two presidents has increased.
But Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov doesn’t share that enthusiasm. Speaking to RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service, Mammadyarov said he does not expect much progress at the St. Petersburg meeting.
Mammadyarov said that progress depends on how constructive the Armenian policy will be, adding that if there is progress, he will deliver a report to the Azerbaijani parliament, as requested by parliamentarians.
The two presidents last met on May 7 during an EU conference in Prague, where they reported further progress toward the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Last November, Sarkisian and Aliyev met near Moscow with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev where they signed a nonbinding document that pledged the two presidents to intensifying their efforts in seeking a negotiated peace and a mutually acceptable compromise.
The nonbinding document, in particular, referred to the principles drafted by the Minsk Group and presented to the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan at the OSCE summit in Madrid in November 2007 as a likely basis for continued talks on a peace accord.
That agreement reportedly calls for a gradual solution to the conflict that would end in a referendum of self-determination in Karabakh.
President Sarkisian is scheduled to meet Dmitry Medvedev during his visit.