Dmitry Medvedev, Obama, Sarkozy Meet at G8 Summit

May 27, 2011, 09:33 by R.E. Christian

U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in France.

The three -- as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group countries -- issued a joint statement Thursday calling for a negotiated peace, stability and reconciliation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan's South Caucasus region.

The unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has ruled the region since the Nagorno-Karabakh war ended in 1994 and has been engaged in peace talks with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"The use of force created the current situation of confrontation and instability," the three presidents said. "Its use again would only bring more suffering and devastation, and would be condemned by the international community. We strongly urge the leaders of the sides to prepare their population for peace, not war."

The joint statement said the Basic Principles discussed in Sochi, Russia, March 5 laid a foundation for a comprehensive peace settlement.

In a separate statement on the Bering Straits, Obama and Medvedev noted the importance of the region to the both nations and called for protecting the shared natural and cultural heritage of Alaska and the Chukotka Autonomous District.

Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met privately to discuss border security and economic cooperation before the G8 summit working sessions began.

Source: UPI