Azerbaijan, Baku, July 10 / Trend , E.Tariverdiyeva/
The Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents' Moscow meeting will help in reaching the finish line of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, the Russian Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Yuriy Merzlyakov, said at a news conference in Baku on July 10.
The next meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, is scheduled to be held in Moscow in mid-July during the informal international horse races for the Russian President's Prize. The last time Aliyev and Sargsyan met was in St. Petersburg on June 4.
"Our visit to the region was devoted to organizing the presidents' meeting in Moscow and during the preparation we have continued to exchange views on a number of the outstanding basic principles for the settlement of the conflict," said Merzlyakov.
"And we are satisfied with the meeting with the presidents. The conversation was very constructive and I felt the presidents' positive mood for the upcoming meeting," said the diplomat.
"We hope to conclude negotiations on at least on two issues to resolve the conflict, and then open a new debate on the topic which has been discussed only in general terms so far," the French Co-Chair, Bernard Fassier said.
The diplomat expressed his hope that if they could achieve both presidents' approval on the basic principles by late 2009, then it will be possible to continue the work and transform it into a treaty next year.
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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