KAZAN, Russia—Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev on Friday failed to reach an agreement on the so-called “Basic Principles” of a peace agreement by the OSCE Minsk Group after a summit mediated by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
In a brief join statement was issued after the talks the three leaders reported further progress in the conflict resolution process.
The statement, which was circulated by the Kremlin, said Sarkisian and Aliyev reached a “mutual understanding on a number of issues whose resolution would help to create conditions for the approval of the basic principles.”
The sides did not comment on the talks.
Prior to the talk, on Thursday, President Barack Obama phone calls Sarkisian and Aliyev.
The President reaffirmed the message expressed in the joint statement with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs President Nicholas Sarkozy and President Medvedev that the moment has come for all the sides to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to take a decisive step towards a peaceful settlement.
President Obama strongly encouraged the two leaders to finalize and endorse the Basic Principles during their meeting with President Medvedev in Kazan. Once the Basic Principles are agreed to, the parties can begin negotiating a final settlement based on the Helsinki principles of non-use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples, said a White House statement.
President Obama told both leaders that now is the time to resolve this conflict and to offer the people of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh a better future for themselves and for their children. The United States will continue to support both leaders and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in their important efforts to advance security and prosperity in the region, added the White House statement.
Also on Thursday, Sarkozy sent a message to Sarkisian saying that in accordance to the statement made in Deauville by President Obama, President Medvedev and himself, he would like to express confidence that the time has come to verify the principles which could henceforth serve as a base for the actual negotiations on the resolution of the conflict. According to the President of France, there are moments in history when the leadership of a country should demonstrate to its people courage, wisdom and the road toward peace, said a statement by Sarkisian’s office.
“Please be assured that I, as a friend, and along with me France, which considers herself Armenia’s sister, convey to you the most sincere wishes for success in this decisive meeting. My country will spare no effort to support you on that road,” said Sarkozy.
Prior to the Kazan meeting, the Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian, issued a statement citing the Administration’s failure to apply the democratic principle of self-determination in its Nagorno Karabakh diplomacy.
“The direction of U.S. diplomacy on Nagorno Karabakh, including the OSCE Minsk Group proposal which will be discussed at the upcoming Kazan summit, runs contrary to the very principles – self-determination, freedom, and democracy – that President Obama so ardently advocated this evening,” said Hamparian.
“While we certainly welcome the ongoing efforts of the OSCE to bring about a fair and lasting peace, we remain troubled that the deal presently under consideration would force the citizens of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic – who are barred from acting as a party to the ongoing negotiations that will determine their fate – to trade their hard fought security and well-deserved independence for an undefined ‘interim status’ that will increase, not diminish, the risks of renewed Azerbaijani aggression,” added Hamparian.
“It is reckless and irresponsible to ask Armenians to make upfront, concrete, and effectively irrevocable land, status, and security concessions in exchange for deferred and easily reversible
Azerbaijani promises of a vaguely defined ‘expression of will’ regarding Artsakh’s status that may or may not – depending on Baku’s willingness – take place at some point in the future,” said Hamparian.
“The Obama Administration should, first and foremost, require that the official representatives of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic be fully and immediately reinstated in the peace process, and then move forward, not by pressuring the Armenian side into reckless concessions, but rather by acting in the spirit of the President’s powerful words in his speech Wednesday evening, and in accord with his campaign commitments to seek a lasting settlement for Nagorno-Karabakh based
upon America’s founding commitment to the principles of democracy and self determination,” concluded Hamparian.