RUSSIA, ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN PRESIDENTS TO MEET IN SOCHI ON MARCH 5

Itar-Tass
March 1 2011
Russia

MOSCOW, March 1 (Itar-Tass) -- Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev
and Armenian President Serge Sargsyan will come to Sochi on March
5 at the invitation of President Dmitry Medvedev, the Kremlin press
service reported on Tuesday.

The tripartite meeting is going to discuss there some problems,
connected with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The problem of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which
broke out in February 1988, is permanently in the focus of attention
at talks and meetings on all levels. In 1988 the Nagorno-Karabakh
Autonomous Region, created on the territory of Azerbaijan, declared its
intention to withdraw from the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic
and to join Armenia. This resulted in an open armed confrontation in
the area in 1991-1994.

The negotiating process was started on September 23, 1991, by Russia,
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Armenia. The OSCE Minsk Group, made up of
12 countries, was created in March 1992 on the initiative of Moscow.

In accordance with the agreement signed, combat operations ended in
Nagorno-Karabakh on May 12, 1994. At present negotiations are going
on within the framework of the Minsk Group on defining the status
of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Minsk Group is headed jointly by Russia,
the United States and France. A direct dialogue between Baku and
Yerevan on the summit level was started in 1999.

A tripartite meeting of the Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders
was held in Moscow on November 2, 2008, on the initiative of President
Medvedev. A declaration was adopted on its results, in which principles
of the settlement of the conflict were recorded. It was the first
document in 15 years, signed by representatives of the countries,
which are parties to the conflict. The latest meeting in that format
was held in Astrakhan on October 27, 2010.

Moscow shows patience and restraint, when acting as an intermediary
in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is sure
that this stand will bring positive results, said a staff member of
the Kremlin administration, commenting on the meeting of the three
presidents in October 2010. "The point at issue in the settlement of
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is stability in the Caucasus, peace and
the getting back to normal relations between the people, who lived
like close neighbours some time ago. This is a noble and important
goal, and we shall spare no efforts for attaining it," he said.




From: A. Papazian