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Armenia Refuses to Join Meeting of Mediators with Azerbaijani FM

News.Az

September 20, 2012

At the end of September New York during the UN General Assembly will host a meeting between Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and OSCE Minsk Group, a French diplomatic source reported.

The same source noted to1news.az that the Armenian side rejected a joint meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart, but the meeting of the Armenian minister with the co-chairs is planned.

According to the source, currently the goal of the mediators is to reduce the tension between the parties, formed after the incidents on the contact line in June this year, as well the extradition and subsequent pardon of Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov.

Being in Paris, President Ilham Aliyev reportedly said that Azerbaijan is ready to continue peace talks and never relinquished them.

On the question of the possibility of Turkey's co-chairmanship in the OSCE Minsk Group, the source said it was impossible because of strong opposition of Armenia. It also noted that Azerbaijan had an erroneous opinion that France takes the pro-Armenian position.

"France tries to faithfully fulfill its mediation duties," it said.

The source also said that we should not exaggerate the influence of the Armenian lobby in the position of official Paris. According to it, out of 577 members of the National Assembly of France only 4-5 are elected from districts where Armenians live.

"Recently influence of Azerbaijan is also growing in Europe, because of its energy policy. Therefore, we can say that the influence of both Azerbaijan and Armenia in Europe is practically identical. France as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group makes every effort to coordinate the positions," said the source.

The source added that France supports the withdrawal of snipers on the front line and believes that this will be the first step to build trust between the parties.

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