BAKU: Azeri, Armenian leaders decide to continue talks on Karabakh

Azeri, Armenian leaders decide to continue talks on Karabakh

ANS TV, Baku
28 Apr 04

[Presenter Qanira Atasova] The second meeting between Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Robert Kocharyan has
ended. The presidents said that the meeting was constructive.

It must be noted that after the meeting, Azerbaijani President Ilham
Aliyev was scheduled to meet the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen. But
since the co-chairmen participated in the presidents’ meeting, no
further talks will be held. We are going live to Warsaw now. ANS’s
special correspondent Qanira Pasayeva is on the line. Hello,
Qanira. Could the presidents achieve concrete results at the meeting?

[Qanira Pasayeva, over the phone] Hello, Qanira. The talks between the
presidents, Ilham Aliyev and Robert Kocharyan, on the Nagornyy
Karabakh settlement, which lasted for an hour and a half, have ended.

[Passage omitted: Reported details]

After the tete-a-tete meeting, they did not answer questions. They
said that it had been decided to issue statements only. Here are their

First, President Ilham Aliyev said that the talks had been held in a
constructive mode. He said that their first meeting was held in
December. Some time passed, the co-chairmen paid visits and dozens of
meetings were held. Some time ago, the foreign ministers of the two
countries held a meeting. Today’s meeting was a continuation of the
talks. Ilham Aliyev said that the talks were continuing and that there
was a mutual interest in continuing the talks in a constructive
mode. The president expressed his hope that the constructive talks
would be continued in the future as well. He said that the Azerbaijani
side was interested in resolving the problem and that one could feel
the Armenian side’s interest as well. So he hopes that some progress
could be achieved through the talks to find a solution to the
problem. That was the end of the president’s statement.

Robert Kocharyan’s statement was shorter. He said that it had been
decided that the foreign ministers of the two countries should
continue the talks. A meeting was set for May. He said that they were
interested in holding more intensive talks. He said that we would
ourselves – he meant the presidents – take the opportunity [to meet]
at multilateral meetings, as he put it in Russian, at political
gatherings. He said they would use every opportunity to meet. His
final statement was that he was pleased with the nature and atmosphere
of the talks. He said – I cannot laud the results, we cannot be proud
of the results, but the nature and atmosphere of the talks were

These were the statements. Kocharyan declined to answer ANS’s question
as to whether the step-by-step settlement was discussed during the
talks. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen did not answer whether new
proposals or ideas were discussed during the talks. Steven Mann, the
US co-chairman, said it has been decided that if there are statements
to be made, these will be joint statements by the co-chairmen. They
did not make any statements.

A luncheon was also held here. South Caucasus leaders – Robert
Kocharyan, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and the Azerbaijani
president – finished their discussions on Caucasus issues, which
lasted for an hour and a half. But no statement has been made so far.

At the moment, the Azerbaijani president and Georgian President
Mikheil Saakashvili are holding a meeting.

[Presenter] Thank you, Qanira, for the report.