Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have met with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Wales.
The two presidents presented their respective positions regarding the Karabakh peace process. Secretary Kerry stressed the importance of reducing tensions on the Contact Line and to continue to work within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group format. Kerry underscored that both Armenia and Azerbaijan must exercise political will to ensure peace in the region.
Prior to meeting with Kerry, Serzh Sargsyan delivered a speech at the concluding gathering of the meeting of heads of state and governments of NATO member states involved in International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
In his speech, Sargsyan greeted Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fog Rasmussen, as well as the meeting participants, including the Afghan partners. He said that Armenia has engaged with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan since February 2010 and as a result Armenian peacekeepers have gained invaluable experience.
Serzh Sargsyan underscored that Armenians appreciate the value of both peace and security and struggle for both of them almost every day. He went on to say, “Tomorrow here, in this same hall a document will be adopted that will be related to the security of my people and peace in our region. There are two options. Either it will adopt the language of the OSCE Minsk Group, which is the only specialized international structure dealing with the Nagorno Karabakh problem, a language that was proposed and supported by the Co-Chair countries that are represented here by France and the United States of America, or upon the lobbying of another member State it will pass again with an aim to save the face of our tyrant neighbor vis-a-vis his own people. Believe me it will not lead to any positive results.”
The Armenian president stressed that common sense and a desire for peace must be tantamount otherwise xenophobia will deepen as will the war rhetoric and deadly provocations provoked by Azerbaijan.
Meeting with French President
On the margins of his working visit, President Serzh Sargsyan also met with French President François Hollande in Newport.
The two leaders praised the high level of Armenian-French political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation in different fields. While looking at a number of issues of mutual interest, including the negotiation process of the Karabakh conflict, the parties discussed the upcoming trilateral meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan scheduled to be held at the initiative of the President of France.
After exchanging views on regional challenges, Serzh Sargsyan and François Hollande discussed progress in the implementation of bilateral arrangements and discussed French-Armenian cooperation within the framework of international organizations, as well as the possibilities of mutual support in key issues.