Armenian-Azerbaijani Summit ‘Called Off’


– Armenian-Azerbaijani Summit ‘Called Off’

The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan were due to meet last month in accordance with an agreement reached with international mediators, France’s ambassador in Baku said on Thursday.

“A meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents scheduled for June did not take place,” Russian and Azerbaijani news agencies quoted the diplomat, Pascal Meunier, as saying.

Meunier gave no reasons for the alleged cancellation of the summit, which the U.S., Russian, and French mediators hoped would revive the Karabakh peace process. Nor did he say whether Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev plan to meet later this year.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry could not be reached for comments on Meunier’s statement.

Visiting Baku and Yerevan in late May, the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group said they are now “working intensively” with the conflicting parties to organize a face-to-face meeting of the two leaders. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said afterwards that he will meet with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian in June to discuss preparations for it.

Mammadyarov did not hold talks with Nalbandian in June, however. Nor did the parties announce agreements on the next Aliyev-Sarkisian meeting.

Aliyev and Sarkisian most recently met in the Russian city of Sochi in January 2012. They pledged at the time to intensify their efforts to agree on the basic principles of a Karabakh settlement put forward by the mediators. The negotiation process has remained essentially deadlocked since then, however.

In a joint statement issued on June 18, the U.S., Russian and French presidents criticized Baku and Yerevan for making no decisive progress in long-running peace talks. “We strongly believe that further delay in reaching a balanced agreement on the framework for a comprehensive peace is unacceptable,” they said.

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