January 25, 2010 - 18:55 AMT
Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed the preamble to an agreement on Karabakh and are preparing new proposals, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
"There is a general understanding on the preamble of the document," Lavrov said after tripartite negotiations in Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi. He added that the preamble revised and updated the OSCE Madrid principles.
The Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, Dmitry Medvedev, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, met in Sochi earlier on Monday.
Lavrov said that although some parts of the document had yet to be synchronized, "the sides will prepare their concrete proposals, their concrete wording, which will be worked into the text."
"We are sure that this will help the co-chairs in their future work. The presidents have agreed to continue it [the work]," RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
The Madrid principles contain the proposals put forward by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on the basic principles of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement. The document was submitted to the Armenian and Azerbaijani representatives at the OSCE summit in the Spanish capital in November 2007.
The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out in 1988 as result of the ethnic cleansing the latter launched in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 to 1994. Since the ceasefire in 1994, sealed by Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan, most of Nagorno Karabakh and several regions of Azerbaijan around it (the security zone) remain under the control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.