YEREVAN, Armenia, June 18 (UPI) -- Syrian President Bashar Assad expressed hope for a quick resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and for improved relations with Armenia.
Assad met in the capital Yerevan with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to discuss bolstering economic and foreign relations, the officials Syrian Arab News Agency reports.
Assad also expressed hope that outstanding issues of Nagorno-Karabakh would be resolved quickly so the region could move forward without further obstacles.
"I listened to President Sargsyan's viewpoint on the critical issue of Karabakh, expressing hope this matter won't be permanent crisis," he said.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bitter military battle over Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s, and the regional fallout from disputes over the territory remains tense despite a 1994 cease-fire.
Assad's meeting follows a diplomatic push by Damascus to expand its regional relations. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem met last week with Sargsyan to discuss political solutions to regional issues facing both countries.
Sargsyan said regional challenges facing both countries were similar, pledging continued negotiations between both parties.
"There is complete understanding on the issues discussed and we agreed to continue meetings and discussions on highest levels," he said.