WASHINGTON (A.W.)—United States President Barack Obama held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 6. One of the topics discussed during the conversation was Putin’s June 20 trilateral meeting with Armenian President Serge Sarkisian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
According to a press statement released by the White House, Obama conveyed his “readiness to intensify efforts” along with Russia and France, as co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group (OSCE), in order to achieve a comprehensive settlement to the Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh/NKR) conflict.
The two also discussed the situation in Ukraine and the ongoing conflict in Syria, and confirmed their commitment to defeating ISIS and the Nusrah Front.
On June 20, Sarkisian, Aliyev, and Putin held a trilateral meeting at the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg.
“Following the consultations, the presidents of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan adopted a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to normalize the situation on the Line of Contact and give their approval to an increase in the number of OSCE observers working in the conflict zone. The joint statement also expresses the parties’ commitment to putting in place the conditions required for steady progress in negotiations on a political settlement to the conflict,” read the statement released by the press office of the Russian president.
On June 21, Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau member and director of its Central Hai Tahd office Giro Manoyan said that the joint statement released by Sarkisian, Aliyev, and Putin after their June 20 meeting raised some concerns for the ARF. “We [the ARF] are concerned that once serious negotiations to solve the conflict begin, the pressure on the Armenian side—on Nagorno-Karabagh—will increase,” Manoyan told reporters.
According to Manoyan, the ARF is concerned that in an attempt to satisfy Azerbaijan, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs may begin to develop a comprehensive settlement without taking into consideration all the principles of a final and lasting peace. “This would bring on some consequences,” he said.