Azerbaijan, Baku, June 1 / Trend , E. Tariverdiyeva/
The OSCE Minsk Group is optimistic about the coming meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents, U.S. Co-Chair Mathew Bryza told Trend .
"Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev took very constructive steps at the last meeting in Prague and we expect the same reaction from Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan," he said.
He said the co-chairs hope that the presidents of the two countries will continue constructive approach launched by Azerbaijani president in Prague and positive reaction that Armenia president had after that meeting.
Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan met at the U.S. Embassy to discuss the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a part of the EU Eastern Partnership summit in Prague on May 7.
The next meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents is scheduled for early June as part of the economic forum in St. Petersburg.
"We hope the sides will reach certain progress at the St. Petersburg meeting," Bryza said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
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