Sargsyan-Aliyev Meeting Takes Place. OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Call

SARGSYAN-ALIYEV MEETING TAKES PLACE. OSCE MINSK GROUP CO-CHAIRS CALL ON ALIYEV TO GIVE UP BELLIGERENT RHETORIC

NOYAN TAPAN – ARMENIANS TODAY
NOVEMBER 23, 2009
YEREVAN

A meeting of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliyev took place in Munich late November 22. The
tete-a-tete talk of the two presidents was followed by negotiations
with the participation of the foreign ministers of Armenia and
Azerbaijan and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

Following the meeting, the OSCE Minsk Group mediators made a statement
for reporters, saying that the dicussion of the problem passed in
a constructive atmosphere. According to them, for the first time,
the discussion involved issues that have never been touched upon
previously. The meeting lasted four hours.

On the eve of the negotiations the Azerbaijani president had made
a strange statement, according to experts. "This meeting must play
a decisive role in the negotiation process," Aliyev had declared,
stressing: "If the meeting produces no results, our hopes related
to negotiations will be exhausted and we will have no option but to
prepare for war".

After the meeting, the Co-Chairs called on the Azerbaijani president to
give up his belligerent rhetoric. In particular, the French Co-Chair
Bernard Fassier said that they in Paris, Moscow and Washington see no
alternative to the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh problem and they
are convinced that a military solution to the problem does not exist.

Bernard Fassier said: "We have informed the sides about the definite
position of our countries: at this sensitive stage, it is necessary
to refrain from any statements that may hinder the negotiations. We
clearly underlined that a war can by no means be an alternative to
the problem’s solution".

Radio Liberty reported that the mediators also said that Presidents
Sargsyan and Aliyev had commissioned them to continue their work on
the resolution of the problem. According to the Co-Chairs, the next
meeting of the negotiation process will be held between the foreign
ministers of the two countries in early December, prior to the annual
meeting of the Council of OSCE Ministers.

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