May 8, 2009

Details about the May 7 meeting between Armenian President Serzh
Sargsyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev remain scarce.

In remarks after the meeting, held at the American embassy in Prague,
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza announced that the
two sides had managed to "reduce their differences on basic principles
and generally agree on the basic ideas they came here to discuss,"
Public Radio of Armenia reported. The station's website displayed a
photo of Sargsyan and Aliyev sitting stiffly side-by-side at a table.

The Armenian president's press office announced only that the
two leaders have agreed to "honor all previous agreements and move
forward towards the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations
without preconditions and within a reasonable time frame," A1Plus
website reported.

Sargsyan will travel to Nagorno-Karabakh on May 9, according to the
president's website.

An unnamed Azerbaijani diplomatic source, however, told Azerbaijan's
APA news service that discussions between Aliyev and Sargsyan had been

Speaking in Washington, DC, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
stated that the two men would have a chance to meet again at the June
4-6 St. Petersburg Economic Forum. "We are rather optimistic about
the prospects for settlement," Azerbaijan's Trend news agency quoted
Lavrov as saying.