INTERMEDIARIES AFFIRM POSITIVE TRENDS IN KARABAKH SETTLEMENT

Interfax
April 27 2009
Russia

The Co-chairmen of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group said they are optimistic about the resolution
of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, during a press conference in Yerevan.

There are intentions and possibilities to settle this
conflict, U.S. Cochairman Matthew Bryza told the conference on
Monday. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said recently that
the conflict might be resolved within the next few months, Bryza said,
adding that in his opinion that was realistic.

quot;The parties to the conflict understand that it is possible to
make progress, but it is still difficult to set a timeframe. One thing
is clear - the sides will concentrate on a peace agreement once they
coordinate positions on fundamental [settlement] principles,quot;
Russian Co-chairman Yuri Merzlyakov said.

The intermediaries hope for a fruitful and constructive meeting of the
Armenian and Azeri presidents in Prague on May 7, French Co-chairman
Bernard Fassier said.

'The presidents may also meet in St. Petersburg in June, but everything
will depend on their will and mutual understanding,quot; Fassier said.

The co-chairmen welcomed the closer relations between Armenia and
Turkey and the coordination of the normalization roadmap.

Merzlyakov rejected claims that Russia might withdraw its servicemen
from Armenia with the settlement of the Armenian-Turkish relations.