French President Francois Hollande on Monday (27 October) will host a three way summit with the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents at the Elysee Palace in an effort to re-energise the process to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
France is a co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Process, together with the United States and Russia. President Hollande is known to have taken a personal interest in the resolution of the conflict, and has met the two leaders separately on a number of occasions over the last year.
The last face to face meeting between President Aliev of Azerbaijan and President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia took place in Sochi in August and was hosted by Russia's President, Vladimir Putin. That meeting happened amid serious tension on the line of contact separating Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. Several dozen persons were reported to have been killed or injured during violations of the cease-fire that has been in place for twenty years.
photo: The entrance to the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the President of France in Paris. (archive picture).
"As expected the declaration from the 5th Eastern Partnership summit did not change in any significant way the approach of the EU to the eastern neighbourhood. However the declaration has something for everybody, and there are interesting nuances in the text that can form the basis in the future for the next steps in the EU's engagement with the region", commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment.
Getting the Eastern Neighbourhood right is a key necessity for the future security and prosperity of Europe. The Brussels summit offers an opportunity for important steps on this matter in the right direction – not as an end in themselves but rather as a part of a longer term and more ambitious vision.