Armenian And Azerbaijani Presidents Hold New Round Of Talks


July 17 2009

Armenia President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijan leader Ilham Aliyev
held two hours of face-to-face talks on July 17, seeking to achieve a
breakthrough in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Neither Armenian
nor Azerbaijani officials released details about the discussion,
held in Moscow.

Sargsyan and Aliyev were scheduled to continue Karabakh talks on July
18, along with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. With international
mediators expressing growing optimism about a peace deal, Sargsyan in
particular has come under growing domestic pressure. Representatives
of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) — a one-time member
of the governing coalition that has become estranged from Sargsyan’s
administration in recent months — warned the government against making
"irreversible" concessions.

ARF spokesman Armen Rustamian said on July 16 that his party would
push for Sargsyan’s resignation if the president signed a pact with
Azerbaijan that was deemed to be overly conciliatory. Rustamian
also suggested that Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian should
resign. "Armenia’s foreign policy has deviated from the main provisions
of its national security strategy," Rustamian claimed.

Nalbandian told the A1plus news agency on July 17 that Armenia would
not commit itself to an agreement unless all its concerns were fully
taken into account, and its security conditions met.

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