GENEVA (RFE/RL) — The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents have discussed a possible settlement of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh at a meeting In Geneva.
Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia and Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev held talks on October 16 under the auspices of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
A joint statement issued after the talks by the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers and the co-chairs of the Minsk Group (France, Russia, and the United States) said that “the meeting took place in a constructive atmosphere.”
“The presidents agreed to take measures to intensify the negotiation process and to take additional steps to reduce tensions on the Line of Contact,” the statement said.
“The co-chairs expressed their satisfaction with these direct talks, which took place after a long interval. They remain ready to work with the sides on mediating a peacefully negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As a next step, the co-chairs will organize working sessions with the Ministers in the near future,” the statement added.
The two presidents also held face-to-face talks, Sarkisan’s press secretary Vladimir Hakobian wrote on Twitter.
The talks took place after the meeting of the two presidents, which was also attended by Foreign Ministers Edward Nalbandian (Armenia) and Elmar Mammadyarov (Azerbaijan); the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, Igor Popov of Russia, Stephane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States; as well as the OSCE chairman in office, Andrzej Kasprzyk.
At their last meetin on June 2016 in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sarkisian and Aliyev expressed readiness to seek a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The last meeting mediated by the Minsk Group co-chairs took place in Vienna in May 2016.
It followed a truce in April that halted four days of fierce fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenian and Azerbaijan’s military.