G8 nations could adopt statement on Karabakh conflict

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Russia could adopt a joint statement with two other Group of Eight members at the ongoing summit in Italy on a long-running territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, a Kremlin aide said

L'AQUILA, July 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russia could adopt a joint statement with two other Group of Eight members at the ongoing summit in Italy on a long-running territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, a Kremlin aide said.

Nagorny Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan with a largely Armenian population, has been a source of conflict between the countries since it declared its independence in 1991. The province has its own de facto government.

Arkady Dvorkovich, an aide to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, told reporters after the first day of the summit in the Italian mountain town of L’Aquila: “Consultations are being held on Nagorny Karabakh on the form of a declaration, and essentially, we agree on the issue.”

“We expect that such a declaration could be produced. But it is more likely to be a statement from three countries – Russia, France, and the United States – than from the G8,” he said.

A war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the mountainous enclave 15 years ago left over 25,000 people dead. Sporadic violence on the border has continued ever since.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met in Prague last month to discuss the conflict, on the sidelines of the EU's Eastern Partnership summit, and said some progress had been reached.

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