Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Karabakh Deal Seen Next Year

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Azerbaijan and Armenia could sign a framework agreement next year resolving the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory, a co-chairman of the group mediating the conflict said.

"There is a possibility that prior to presidential elections in Armenia, which will take place in the spring of next year, some kind of framework agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could be signed by the heads of Azerbaijan and Armenia," said Matthew Bryza, deputy assistant U.S. secretary of state and co-chairman of the so-called Minsk Group, set up to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.

Bryza, speaking in the Azeri capital on Friday, said Armenian President Robert Kocharyan had told the Minsk Group chairmen during a meeting a day earlier in Yerevan that signing such a "gentlemanly agreement" prior to the country's presidential ballot was possible. "I asked the president myself this question, and in reply he said that such a possibility exists," Bryza told journalists.

"But, of course, this will not be the end of the negotiation process," he stressed, adding that he hoped a new Armenian president would uphold any such agreement.

The Minsk Group diplomats, including representatives from Russia and France, are in the two Caucasus countries as part the negotiation process. After meeting with officials in Baku, they planned to return to Armenia and then back again to Azerbaijan, French mediator Bernard Fassier said.