MEDVEDEV MEETS WITH ARMENIAN, AZERI LEADERS FOR TALKS
Jun 5, 2009
ST. PETERSBURG (Combined Sources)-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
brought his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts, Ilham Aliyev and
Serzh Sarkisian, together for talks on Thursday following separate
meetings with each of them on the sidelines of the International
Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.
They dealt principally with the search for a solution to the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Russia, along with the United States
and France, has been mediating talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan
over Karabakh, the subject of a war began by Azerbaijan in the early
1990s, when the indigenous population of Nagorno-Karabakh declared
independence from the Soviet Union.
"We are persistently seeking a way that would allow Nagorno-Karabakh
to live safely on its traditional land and determine its fate,"
Sarkisian said ahead of his meeting with Medvedev.
The Russian President, for his part, described his frequent visits
with Sarkisian as "useful" in the development of Armenian-Russian
cooperation. During their private talks, the two leaders also discussed
the deepening of their economic ties and strategic cooperation within
the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Speaking to reporters ahead of his private talks with Aliyev, Medvedev
welcomed the Azeri President to St. Petersburg and said the two
leaders had "many important, high-priority topics to discuss, which
are of great concern to everyone." He underscored as key agenda items,
the effects of the global financial crisis, energy security issues
"so essential" for their countries, and other joint projects.
Aliyev, for his part, thanked Medvedev for the warm welcome and
agreed that the two leaders had a "very wide-ranging agenda" with
"many topics for discussion. The Azeri President also underscored
that they would be discussing "oil and gas cooperation, which are
gaining particular relevance and importance today."
We appreciate the fact that, as you said, our ties are developing in
many areas, including political and economic cooperation," Aliyev said,
adding that the "regular and intense" meetings between their countries
reflect the development of their relations. "I am certain that in
the future, our cooperation will remain as positive, predictable,
and amicable as it has always been."
The three presidents later met together for an informal dinner that
was followed by an evening boat ride.
Medvedev’s spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said the meetings did not
result in a breakthrough in the conflict resolution process, but
noted that the Kremlin believes "the very fact of the meeting of the
presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia is important."
"The main thing is that Azerbaijan and Armenia are demonstrating their
readiness for dialogue," she said. "The very fact of the meeting of
the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia is important."
Medvedev, Sarkisian, and Aliyev last met in this format last November
near Moscow where they signed a nonbinding document that pledged the
presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to intensifying their efforts
in seeking a negotiated peace and a mutually acceptable compromise.
"After our last meeting we have been working with our Russian
colleagues toward implementing the agreements reached," Sarkisian was
quoted as saying ahead of his meeting with Medvedev. "The Armenian
side has been diligently working with the support of the Minsk Group
on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict."
The so called Moscow Declaration also reaffirmed that the parties
would actively work toward a settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
on the basis of international law and within the framework of the
OSCE Minsk Group.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress