Talks between Foreign Ministers Mammadyarov and Oskanian that occurred on 18-19 January in London concluded with the announcement that the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia will meet in Paris in February. This meeting between the Presidents is significant because it is the first one to be held since August 2006 when the two met on the sidelines of the CIS Summit in Astana, Sabine Freizer, the project director of the International Crisis Group (ICG), told Trend in an exclusive interview.
While it is almost impossible to imagine that the President will sign a comprehensive peace deal there is some optimism that they might agree to a "framework document." This short 1-2 page document would lay the foundations for future talks. This is in itself very important, Freizer underlined. It would be the outcome of almost two years of Minsk Group facilitated talks within the context of the Prague Process. It would be the first document of its kind to be signed by the Armenian and Azerbaijani heads of state, she added.
I hope that the agreement would be a public document which the Armenian and Azerbaijani leadership could distribute to their people to start a public debate on the principles of a potential peace agreement, the ICG project director underscored.
Of course this will be a very difficult debate to have -- but it is an essential one. Local authorities must fully inform their citizens about what a peace agreement might look like and the benefits of a peaceful resolution to the conflict, she concluded.