Armenian Leader Speaks Of "Progress" In Karabakh Talks


Second TV Channel
July 20 2009

The Armenian president has said his country and Azerbaijan are making
progress towards the resolution of a dispute over the breakaway
Nagornyy Karabakh region.

"I can say that there has been progress [in talks]. We are progressing,
although with difficulty," Serzh Sargsyan was shown saying on Armenian
television on 20 July. He was speaking at a meeting with a visiting
EU delegation led by Swedish Foreign Minister Karl Bildt.

Sargsyan described Nagornyy Karabakh’s final status as the key issue,
which he said should be decided in a referendum.

"I believe it should be clear to everybody that the key issue is
the status of Nagornyy Karabakh, which should be decided by a free
expression of will, which should have legal obligatory force," the
Armenian president said.

Nagornyy Karabakh, which is home to around 140,000 ethnic Armenians,
broke away from Azerbaijan following a separatist war in the early
1990s. No country has recognized it as an independent state.

Sargsyan has met his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, six times
since his election as Armenian president in February 2008. The latest
meeting was held in Moscow on 17-18 July.