Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said last month’s meeting of the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Paris, France, was “far from new hopes” on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
In an interview with the French daily, Le Figaro, Sargsyan, who was on an official visit to France at the beginning of this week, noted, however, that it was agreed to continue talks in the current format at the meeting.
“Baku refuses to accept the principles proposed by the international mediators as a basis for holding talks supposing that they can directly reach a peaceful agreement without agreeing on the basic principles. But the peaceful agreement may be viable only if it is based on clear principles acceptable for everybody,” said Sargsyan.
After his talks with Sargsyan at the Elysee Palace on Monday French President Francois Hollande, too, said that as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group France would continue to mediate the negotiations that it saw as progressing on the basis of the so-called Madrid principles submitted to the conflicting parties a few years ago.
Armenian-Azerbaijan peace talks ground to a halt earlier this year after a series of deadly border skirmishes in June and especially the controversial pardoning in Azerbaijan of Ramil Safarov, a convicted killer of an Armenian serviceman who was handed over to Baku by Hungary on August 31.
Safarov, an officer of the Azerbaijani army, hacked to death a sleeping Armenian fellow student, Gurgen Margaryan, at a NATO-sponsored English language course in Budapest in 2004. He was serving a life sentence in a Hungarian prison before his controversial extradition.
In the interview this week the Armenian leader said that despite the actions taken by Baku in what was later dubbed as the Safarov Affair Armenia will keep doing its best to reach a peaceful settlement.