WASHINGTON, DC (RFE/RL) — U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to step up joint efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict when they spoke by phone late on Wednesday.
The two men reportedly discussed in detail the outcome of the most recent meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents that was hosted by Putin in Saint Petersburg on June 20.
“President Obama expressed his readiness to intensify efforts together with Russia and with France, as co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group, to achieve a comprehensive settlement to the conflict,” the White House said in a readout of the conversation.
A separate statement by the Kremlin said Putin, who initiated the talk, briefed Obama on the Saint Petersburg summit aimed at “stabilizing the situation in the conflict zone and creating conditions for advancing the peace process.”
“They agreed to continue joint active work within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group in this important direction,” read the statement.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also discussed the Karabakh negotiation process in a weekend phone call. Kerry held separate phone talks with Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev on Friday.
Incidentally, French President Francois Hollande discussed the Karabakh dispute with Putin on June 30 after it emerged that Paris has offered to host the next Aliyev-Sarkisian meeting. No possible dates for the summit have been mentioned by the conflicting parties or the Minsk Group co-chairs yet.