France welcomes the adoption, on the initiative of President Medvedev, of the joint communiqué issued on 27 October in Astrakhan by Presidents Ilham Aliyev, Serzh Sargsyan and Dmitry Medvedev, whose personal commitment to resolving this conflict we applaud. In this communiqué, the parties to the conflict recognize the need for a peaceful, negotiated settlement and to strengthen the ceasefire through confidence-building measures. As a first step, the parties pledge to move forward rapidly with an exchange of prisoners and of the bodies of those killed. The measures decided by the parties in Astrakhan may help reduce tension and ceasefire violations, which have increased in recent months.
This is why France expects them to be implemented without delay. It is through dialogue and openness that it will be possible to resolve this conflict to ensure a future of peace, stability and prosperity for Armenia and Azerbaijan, and for the region as a whole.
Our country, which together with the United States and Russia co-chairs the OSCE Minsk Group, is sparing no effort to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan and help them achieve a peaceful, fair and lasting settlement to their conflict over the province of Nagorno-Karabakh./.