President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia and President Ilham Aliev of Azerbaijan met in Sochi today at the initiative of the President of Russia, Dimitri Medvedev.
At the end of the meeting the three Presidents issued a statement in which they noted the progress that has been achieved since their first meeting on 2 November 2008. The statement speaks of the importance of moving forward towards the negotiations of a peace agreement through an agreement on the basic principles, taking into account the work that has been done so far.
In a comment, commonspace.eu political editor said that "nothing much had been expected from this meeting and this proved to be a fair evaluation. The meeting was necessary to ensure that the negotiations do not derail completely. Russian newspapers this morning carried reports that the personal relations between President Aliev and President Sargsyan had recently deteriorated. Keeping the two leaders talking has been the immediate objective of the Russian President, and in that regard he has succeeded. The bigger issue of resolving the Karabakh conflict and freeing the Caucasus region of what is probably its biggest problem remains however as elusive today as it was before."
photo: President Aliev and President Sargsyan shake hands at the start of their meeting as President Medvedev looks on (picture courtesy of the Press Service of the President of Russia).