Thursday, October 02, 2014


Russia

Putin To Host Armenian, Azerbaijani Presidents In Sochi

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Fighting In Nagorno-Karabakh: War Or War Dance?

Even though the recent hostilities in the vicinity of the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh are the most serious since the signing of a cease-fire 20 years ago, most Armenian observers doubt that they presage all-out war.
By RFE/RL

Representatives of the Armenian and Azerbaijani governments confirmed on August 9 the presidents of the two countries will hold a three-party meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The three presidents will meet on August 10 at Putin's summer retreat near Sochi.

Tensions have recently flared up again in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. There has been fighting between Azerbaijani soldiers and pro-Armenian fighters from Karabakh, and between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops.

At least 20 people have been killed.

The announcement of the three-party meeting came as Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held talks with Putin.

Putin told Aliyev it was time to address the "sore and longstanding problems, concerning the Karabakh settlement process."

Aliyev said after the meeting he agreed that the Karabakh problem had dragged on for far too long and said he was grateful for Russia's interest in resolving the problem.

Putin then met with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian where the subject of Nagorno-Karabakh again took a center place in talks.

Sarkisian described the recent hostilities in the region as a "premeditated escalation" without elaborating.

There was no word about when the three would hold their August 10 meeting but Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin, Aliyev and Sarkisian would together attend an international sambo (eds: a form of martial arts) tournament during the evening of August 9 in Sochi. 

Baku and Yerevan remain locked in hostilities over Nagorno-Karabakh, which was seized from Azerbaijan by Armenian-backed separatists during a war in the early 1990s in which some 30,000 people were killed.

Meanwhile, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and Defense Minister Seiran Oganian visited the Nagorno-Karabakh region on August 9, accompanied by some members of the Armenian parliament.

Armenian government spokesman Tigran Abrahamyan said the officials were there to view the situation along the Line of Control and the fortifications of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic's self-defense forces.

With additional reporting from Interfax and Trend.az

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