BRUSSELS, Belgium (RFE/RL) —Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov met for the first time late on Wednesday, July 11, to discuss ways of reviving the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.
The four-hour talks in Brussels began in the presence of the US, Russian and French mediators co-chairing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group.
“The meeting had an introductory character and was intended for familiarizing with each other’s views,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released the following morning.
It said Mnatsakanyan stressed the importance of respecting the ceasefire regime in the Karabakh conflict zone, creating an “atmosphere conducive to peace” and avoiding “aggressive rhetoric.”
“The co-chairs briefed the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers on their upcoming plans. Further steps were discussed,” the statement added without elaborating.
According to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Mammadyarov and Mnatsakanyan discussed the stalled peace process “in detail.” The APA news agency quoted a ministry spokesman, Hikmet Hajiyev, saying that the sides agreed on the need to “continue negotiations in the existing format.” The ministers also “exchanged views on steps taken for the purpose of advancing the peace process,” he said.