Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan recognize need for peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict

The leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Putin, Sargsian and Aliyev , at a meeting in Sochi admitted that the Nagorno Karabakh conflict can be settled only by peaceful means.

"I am satisfied to state that the president of Azerbaijan pointed out to the need to resolve the problem in a peaceful way and you said the same now. In fact, this is the most important thing because there is no greater tragedy than human death," President Vladimir Putin said addressing Armenian President Serzh Sargsian at a trilateral meeting in Sochi on Sunday.

Putin said the sides should proceed from the fact that the conflict around Nagorno Karabakh appeared a long time ago and "was inherited by us from the Soviet Union."

"We must demonstrate patience, wisdom, respect for each other in order to find this solution. Undoubtedly, any complex situations can be settled, if there is goodwill and I believe that there is such goodwill on the part of the Azeri people and equally on the part of the Armenian people," Putin said.

He urged his colleagues to discuss the problem in a narrow circle and later with the involvement of full delegations.

Putin said that even though there exist international formats of resolving regional problems, including the Nagorno Karabakh problem, the opportunity given by the historical ties of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan must be used.

"Undoubtedly, we respect all international formats and will continue working with our colleagues but considering that we have especially close relations and a long history permitting us to frankly exchange opinions about where we are and what should be done to move ahead to the settlement of the problem inherited from the past," Putin said.

He said that on Saturday he had an opportunity to discuss bilateral problems with both Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsian and to informally socialize with them.

Meanwhile, Aliyev said: "The United Nations adopted four resolutions demanding the immediately and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian occupation forces form the territory of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, for over 20 years these resolutions have remained on paper."

He said that Russia as a close friend and neighbor plays a special role in the settlement process.

"I hope that in the nearest future through talks, in a peaceful way we will find a solution that will comply with the norms and principles of international law and will also be fair," Aliyev said.

In turn Sargsian asked whether Azerbaijan had fulfilled the requirements imposed on it by the UN resolutions.

"The Azerbaijani side all the time refers to the four UN resolutions. A rhetoric question to Mr. Aliyev: which provision of these resolutions has Azerbaijan fulfilled?" Sargsian said.

He added that Armenia fulfilled the requirements and used its influence to prevent hostilities.

He also said that in the 1990s the sides arrived at the opinion that the conflict doesn't have a military solution. "And if we start accusing each other again, I think the conflict will not be settled for quite a long time," he said.

Nevertheless, he said that he is thankful to Aliyev "for being set on resolving the issue."

"The solution of the issue meets the national interests of Armenia," he said.

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