Russian, Azerbaijani presidents meet in Moscow

by Sami Burgaz
Putin, Aliyev express determination to ensure stability in Nagorno-Karabakh.

MOSCOW (AA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin thanks Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday for finding a compromise to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.

The two leaders met in the Russian capital where Aliyev arrived for a working visit, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin stressed that the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement remains one of the most important on the regional agenda.

“I know that you, of course, pay a lot of attention, [attach] importance [to the conflict settlement], and I want to thank you for finding compromise solutions,” he said. “They are always the most difficult, but if we want — and we all want — a settlement, then we must follow this path. So far, we have managed to do this, for which I want to thank you.”

Aliyev thanked Putin for his attention to the settlement and said he was determined to make the post-conflict period as smooth as possible.

“Over the past eight months after the end of hostilities, I think that our personal communication – both in Moscow in January and by phone – played a very important role in stabilizing the situation. We are determined to ensure that the post-conflict period proceeds as painlessly as possible. I think we are able to do this together,” he said.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions

New clashes erupted last September and ended with a Russia-brokered cease-fire.

During the subsequent 44-day conflict which ended under a deal signed on Nov. 10, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from Armenia’s nearly three-decade occupation.


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