Ararat Mirzoyan, left, and Jeyhun Bayramov

Armenian, Azerbaijani FMs Discuss Peace Talks


YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — In a rare phone call, the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan discussed on Monday plans to sign a peace treaty between their countries and demarcate their border.

The conversation came less than a week after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met in Brussels for talks hosted by European Council President Charles Michel. Aliyev and Pashinyan agreed to instruct their foreign ministers to start official negotiations on the comprehensive treaty and to set up before the end of this month a joint commission on the border demarcation.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov “exchanged views on the creation of the commission on delimitation and border security, preparation of peace negotiations and humanitarian issues.” It gave no other details.

The call came hours after the conflicting parties traded fresh accusations.

In a statement on the 30th anniversary of mass killings of ethnic Armenian civilians in the Karabakh village of Maragha, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said “ethnic cleansing” of the Karabakh Armenians remains “the real goal of official Baku.” It also said Armenia will continue to defend the Karabakh Armenians’ right to a “free, secure, dignified life in their homeland.”

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry responded by accusing Yerevan of lacking a “real desire” to make peace with Baku.

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Earlier in the day, Mirzoyan met in Yerevan with Brice Roquefeil, the French co-chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group.

“Ararat Mirzoyan presented Armenia’s position on the start of negotiations on Azerbaijan over the peace agreement, emphasizing in that context the mediation role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” read a separate statement released by his press office.

Speaking after talks with Mirzoyan in Moscow on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said France and the United States have stopped working with Russia within the framework of the Minsk Group co-headed by the three world powers. Lavrov claimed that they have “cancelled the co-chairing troika” of the group.

US and French officials have not publicly confirmed that.

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