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Armenian, Azerbaijani Leaders Agree To Meet Again

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (right) receives cochairs of the OSCE Minsk Group
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (right) receives cochairs of the OSCE Minsk Group
YEREVAN -- International mediators say the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to hold talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute later this month, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

The American, French, and Russian cochairs of the OSCE Minsk Group made the announcement on November 6 after meetings with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku and his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian, in Yerevan.

The Minsk cochairs said in a statement that the presidents accepted a proposal by the cochairs to organize the next bilateral meeting, the sixth such meeting this year, before the end of November at a time and place to be determined.

Neither president confirmed the report of another meeting or gave details about their negotiations with the visiting envoys.

The Minsk Group's push for another Armenian-Azerbaijani summit suggests that the three mediating powers still hope to achieve a breakthrough on Nagorno-Karabakh by the end of the year.

The Minsk cochairs had hoped that Aliyev and Sarkisian would resolve their remaining differences at their last meeting in Moldova less than one month ago, but both the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides were disappointed by those talks.

The two parties have continued to make differing interpretations of the settlement proposed by the mediators.

An Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman reportedly said on November 6 that the principle of self-determination incorporated into their
peace plan does not call into question Azerbaijan's sovereignty over Karabakh.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry swiftly brushed aside that claim: "Self-determination means self-determination and territorial integrity [means]
territorial integrity," said a ministry spokesman in a statement.