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Armenia/Azerbaijan: Meeting Set to Revive Stalemated Negotiations

  • Roland Eggleston

Helsinki, August 8 (RFE/RL) -- Representatives from 11 countries will meet in Finland next week to try to revive the stalemated negotiations on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Finland's Foreign Ministry today told RFE/RL that Russia, the United States, Germany, France, Sweden and Switzerland were among those who will attend the private meeting.

"We are looking for ideas on some sort of basic document which Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh can accept as a basis for concrete negotiations," said a spokeswoman.

Next week's meeting is one of a series on Karabakh which will take place over the next few weeks. Negotiations have been suspended because of the lack of progress. Diplomats do not expect them to resume until after the Armenian elections next month.

Finland is co-chairman, with Russia, of the negotiations.

The countries attending next week's meeting are members of an 11-country negotiating group created by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation In Europe (OSCE), which has been trying to reach settlement since 1992. It persuaded parties to the Karabakh conflict to accept a ceasefire in 1994, but has made little progress since.

Russia's new negotiator, Yuri Yukalov, will attend next week's meeting with his predecessor, Valdimir Kazimirov, who will be given a farewell dinner.

The conference will hear a report from a German diplomat, Franz Lambach, who visited Azerbaijan this week for talks with Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister, Hassan Hassanov. It will also hear from representatives of the Azerbaijani refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh.

The United States will be represented by Joseph Presel, who earlier this year unsuccessfully attempted to persuade all sides to accept a basic set of principles for an ultimate settlement. Strobe Talbott, U.S. deputy secretary of state, was also unsuccessful in trying to win approval for a joint set of basic principles.