** Dmitry Medvedev **
Russia is ready to facilitate the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.
In his meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev before the 3rd Caspian Summit on Thursday, Medvedev said, “Russia is ready to exert effort in order to ensure security in the region and help the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”
“Recently certain steps have been taken. I agree that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be settled in compliance with the norms of international law. The work is being done at all levels.” “We are ready to help this process,” he said.
He recalled that an idea of holding the summit had been put forth during his visit to Azerbaijan in September 2010. “It is good that the colleagues agreed with this initiative. Today we've discussed Caspian interaction,” he added.
Commenting on bilateral cooperation, Medvedev said, “Inter- governmental and business-like contacts are developing dynamically.” “Nothing should be invented in this field,” he said.
“It is necessary to intensify business-like contacts. I mean that our countries overcame the crisis. I believe that world crises have an impact on trade turnover. It decreased. We should do our best to increase it,” the Russian president pointed out.
** Mahmoud Ahmadinejad **
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku late on Wednesday.
“We will stand by Azerbaijan in all international organizations and in the international arena,” Ahmadinejad said, according to news reports from Baku. “We are two brotherly states. This brotherhood will continue, it will gradually strengthen and deepen.”
Turning to the Karabakh conflict, he called for its peaceful and “just” resolution. “We are ready to make our utmost contribution to a quick resolution of that problem by means of negotiations, on a just basis and within the framework of international law,” he told a joint news conference with Aliyev. The Azerbaijani government, however, has avoided echoing such accusations or publicly demanding that Iran join in Azerbaijan's and Turkey's long-running economic blockade of Armenia.
Aliyev added that he briefed the Iranian leader on the status of the Karabakh peace process. “I hope that Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity,” he told journalists. “To that end, we must get even stronger. There has been an exchange of opinions on that today.”