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Armenia Confirms New Aliyev-Sarkisian Summit

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) greets Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (center) and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian in St. Petersburg in June 2010.
YEREVAN -- Armenia has officially confirmed reports that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will soon host another meeting between his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts on the unresolved conflict over the breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Quoting Russian diplomatic sources, the Regnum news agency reported last week that the talks were scheduled to take place in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi on January 23-24.

Commenting on the information, Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian said President Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have agreed to meet again.

"The date and venue of the meeting will be announced in due course, when the parties find it convenient," Nalbandian said.

Medvedev has organized about a dozen such meetings since 2008 but has so far failed to broker a peace deal along the lines of proposals made by the Russian, U.S., and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. The most recent Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani summit took place in the Russian city of Kazan in June.

Nalbandian insisted that the trilateral talks were not futile and may still yield a breakthrough in the near future. "This format has proved its viability and effectiveness, and I am sure that meetings will continue in this format," he said.

Nalbandian also reiterated that Armenia's position on how to resolve the Karabakh conflict is in tune with the international mediators' views. He said Karabakh-related events of the past year reaffirmed that "harmony."

Yerevan says the basic principles of a Karabakh settlement drafted by the Minsk Group co-chairs are largely acceptable to the Armenian side. The Azerbaijani government likewise claims to essentially agree with the proposed peace formula.

Armenian officials say, however, that Aliyev scuttled a breakthrough at Kazan by demanding a dozen changes in the text of the framework peace accord.

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