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U.S. Officials Says Armenian, Azerbaijani Presidents To Meet

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (left) in Chisinau in October with his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian
STEPANAKERT -- Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev will meet later this week to discuss how to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a U.S. diplomat told journalists in Stepanakert, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Robert Bradtke, who was named last year as U.S. cochairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, made his comments after earlier meeting in Stepanakert with Bako Sahakian, president of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Bradtke said he thinks it is important "to come to Karabakh to hear the views of the people and the authorities."

Bradtke did not specify the date or venue of the two presidents' meeting. Sarkisian and Aliyev met six times last year.

Sahakian, for his part, reiterated during talks with Bradtke that the conflict cannot be resolved "without a direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and Karabakh."