Armenian, Azeri Presidents to focus on Karabakh


Sept 15 2004

ASTANA, SEPTEMBER 15, ARMENPRESS: Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents
Robert Kocharian and Ilham Aliyev are set to meet today evening in
Kazakhstan’s capital Astana to focus on the Nagorno Karabagh conflict
regulation. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, who initiated the
meeting on the sidelines of a CIS summit, will also attend it.

Russian Itar-Tass news agency quoted a source in the Kremlin as saying
that it was Moscow’s initiative to organize the meeting and that both
presidents responded positively to the proposal. “The main focus
at the meeting will be on Nagorno-Karabagh settlement. In Moscow’s
view, the three-way format has justified itself,” the source said,
adding that Moscow has always believed that the Armenian and Azeri
sides should themselves seek for a solution, while Moscow is ready
to help them achieve a mutually acceptable peace formula.

Azeri president Ilham Aliyev was also optimistic about this
meeting. He was quoted last week by Azeri mass media as saying that the
meeting would have a crucial importance for settling the protracted
conflict. “The meeting may introduce clarity into the situation so
that we could see where we actually are at the moment and whether
we’re getting closer to an agreement or drifting away from it,”
he was quoted as saying.

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