NEW YORK – According to a US State Department briefing of September 21, during the UN General Assembly week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu for about an hour on September 21 and, in addition to Afghanistan and Syria, had “a relatively long conversation” about Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh.

A senior State Department spokesman first noted that after what he termed the Armenia-Azerbaijan war, the US “midwifed a swap of some demining maps that the Armenians turned over to the Azerbaijanis in the disputed territory for the release of some detainees.”

He went on to say, “So the question now becomes whether, with US support, with other Minsk Group countries’ support, with Turkey’s support, we can do more to facilitate a de-escalation of tensions between the two, both along the border, with regard to remaining detainees, with regard to remaining mines, and then take some – see them – help them take some small steps which might lay the path towards a larger peace and reconciliation process.

So the Secretary made clear to Turkey, which has been very much involved in this and is a neighbor, that we are prepared to be helpful if we can be.  We are also at a level below the Secretary having bilateral meetings with the Armenians and the Azerbaijanis this week and making the same offer there.”

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