President Obama made phone calls today to Armenian President Serzh Sargsian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in advance of their upcoming summit on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that Russian President Dimitriy Medvedev will host in Kazan, Russia on June 24th.
The President reaffirmed the message expressed in his May 26th joint statement with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs President Nicholas Sarkozy and President Medvedev that the moment has come for all the sides to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to take a decisive step towards a peaceful settlement.
President Obama strongly encouraged the two leaders to finalize and endorse the Basic Principles during their meeting with President Medvedev in Kazan. Once the Basic Principles are agreed to, the parties can begin negotiating a final settlement based on the Helsinki principles of non-use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
President Obama told both leaders that now is the time to resolve this conflict and to offer the people of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh a better future for themselves and for their children. The United States will continue to support both leaders and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in their important efforts to advance security and prosperity in the region.