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    Mediators say Armenia, Azerbaijan leaders to talk peace in May

    Hurriyet Daily News with wires
    27.04.2009 - 16:02 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan will hold fresh talks on the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region at a European summit next month, international mediators said Monday, according to AFP.

    The meeting between Armenian President Serge Sarkisian and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, will take place May 7 in Prague, the agency reported the co-chairs of the Minsk Group as saying.


    "The two presidents have confirmed they will participate in a meeting in Prague," said Bernard Fassier, the group’s French co-chairman.


    "We hope that this process will create a favorable climate for settling the Karabakh conflict," he said.


    Prague is to host the launch of an Eastern Partnership project aimed at boosting the European Union’s ties with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.


    The American co-chair of the group, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza, said he hoped recent moves to normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey would help speed up the Karabakh peace process.


    "We believe that the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia will be a positive development for the entire region. … It will also promote the process of settling the Karabakh question," he said.


    "There is a new mood and new opportunities today for a faster decision on the Karabakh question," he said.


    Turkey and Armenia announced late Wednesday that they had agreed on a framework for normalizing relations, the first of its kind since Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of solidarity with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.


    Azerbaijan urged Turkey, its close ally, to link reconciliation efforts with Armenia to the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the disputed region.


    France, Russia and the United States are co-chairs of the Minsk Group, which is seeking to resolve the conflict.


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