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Armenian President Says Karabakh Peace Deal Still Off

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian (at head of table) with diaspora Armenians in Paris on October 2.
YEREVAN -- Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has downplayed talk of a resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Sarkisian is currently on a worldwide tour to meet with members of the Armenian diaspora to discuss that and other issues.

He told the New York-based newspaper "The Armenian Reporter" that he and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, will not sign any agreements on Nagorno-Karabakh at their meeting in Moldova on October 8.

Mediators from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Minsk Group have expressed hope that the meeting will pave the way for the acceptance by both sides of the OSCE proposed basic principles for the conflict's resolution that were formally put forward in Madrid in November 2007.

But given the limited agreement thus far on the Madrid principles, Sarkisian said that "we are quite far from signing a document at this point." He added that "It requires a lengthy negotiating work and, of course, the necessary political will from the two sides."