Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

Efforts Underway to Organize Meeting between Armenian, Azeri Foreign Ministers

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YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — International mediators are trying to organize another meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s foreign ministers later this month, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, January 8.

“The [US, Russian and French] co-chairs of the [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] OSCE Minsk Group have proposed a meeting of the foreign ministers in January,” the ministry spokeswoman, Anna Naghdalyan, told the Armenpress news agency. “An announcement on the meeting will be made in a coordinated manner.”

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov held three face-to-face meetings in the second half of 2018.

According to the co-chairs, at their most recent talks held in Milan on December 5 Mnatsakanyan and Mammadyarov pledged to “work intensively to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict and to further reduce tensions.”

“They agreed to meet again in early 2019 under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs for this purpose and in order to facilitate high-level talks,” the mediating troika said in a December 6 statement.

Both ministers described the Milan meeting as “useful.” Mammadyarov said that it resulted in a rare “mutual understanding” between the two parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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The ministers met in the Italian city the day before Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev spoke to each other at a summit of ex-Soviet states held in Russia.

“The year 2019 will give a new impetus to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process,” Aliyev wrote on his Twitter page on December 14.

Pashinyan tweeted two hours later that a Karabakh settlement “remains a top priority” for Armenia.

 

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