08, 2014

Sochi hosts trilateral meeting between Presidents of Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan


A trilateral meeting was held today in Sochi between President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

The presidents discussed issues related to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the contact line resulting from the recent tension provoked by Azerbaijan.

RF President Vladimir Putin said in his remarks, “I would like to thank you once again for the opportunity to meet with you in Russia. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to talk about bilateral relations with both the President of Armenia and the President of Azerbaijan. In the evening, we were able to meet in a non-official format. Thank God, we yesterday bypassed the items of practical character, but, nevertheless, there was a chance to speak with each other on various topics.

In my opinion, this creates a certain atmosphere to openly talk about the hardest, most difficult issues related to the regional conflict. Naturally, there are international formats to address those problems, the Karabakh settlement, and, of course, we respect all those international formats and will continue to work with our partners.

But due to the fact that we anyway enjoy special and close relationship and the background is so deep that it allows us to openly exchange ideas on where we are at and what we need to move forward toward the solution of these problems that we have inherited from the past.

In any case, I feel it to be useful, and I am very happy for the opportunity to meet with you today and talk on these topics. You are welcome to add your comments,” President Vladimir Putin said.

The President of Azerbaijan said, “Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, thank you for your position on this matter. As we discussed yesterday, the issue needs to be resolved, it has dragged on too long. I hope your participation in the process may give a new impetus to the peace process.

As you mentioned, there exists a format of negotiations. There is also a legal framework for conflict resolution. The UN Security Council has adopted 4 resolutions, which call for immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian occupation forces from the territory of Azerbaijan, Unfortunately, more than 20 years have passed; those resolutions have remained on paper.

In the face of its co-chairs, the Minsk Group is working, trying to bring the parties closer to each other, but this does not turn out so well. This is why I believe that Russia, as our close friend, partner and neighbor, has of course a unique role in the process.

We hope to find in the near future such a peaceful, negotiated solution to the problem as would comply with the norms and principles of international law, and would be just and fair as much.”

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan noted, “Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, both for your efforts and the time taken to address the Nagorno-Karabakh problem in this complicated period. We, the Armenian side, appreciate it very much. We think that, as a matter of fact, the problem could and should be settled through compromise, based on the principles proposed by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
Azerbaijan has repeatedly been citing the four UN resolutions, but I would like to address a rhetorical question to Mr Aliyev: Which of the provisions set out in those resolutions has so far been fulfilled by Azerbaijan? Armenia was the only one to comply with the provisions of said resolutions using its influence to stop hostilities.

If we go back to the events of early 90s, it would be good on the one hand, while on the other hand, it might be somewhat protracting. It would be good in the sense that we then came to the conclusion that there is no military solution to the problem, and if we blame each other again, I think that the problem will prove at standstill for a long time. I am thanking you for your determination to resolve the problem, as the settlement of the problem stems from Armenia’s national interests.”

“It is my pleasure to state that the President of Azerbaijan focused on the need for peaceful resolution of the conflict. Either you mentioned it just now. Actually, this is what matters most since there is nothing more tragic than the loss of human lives.

However, we should proceed from the fact that the conflict situation was shaped long ago; it has come to us from the past; it could be said and should be said that we have it as a legacy from the Soviet Union. Therefore, we need to show patience, wisdom, respect of each other in order to find a solution. No doubt, every difficult situation can be resolved, if there is good will. I feel that both the Azerbaijani people and the people of Armenia have such a good will,” RF President Vladimir Putin concluded.

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