MOSCOW (Azatutyun) — The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan have narrowed their differences on a bilateral peace treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday, May 19, after hosting fresh talks between them in Moscow.
But he suggested that the two sides need to restore Armenian-Azerbaijani transport links, start delimiting their long border and bolster the ceasefire regime in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone before they can finalize such a treaty.
Lavrov held separate talks with Foreign Ministers Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov of Azerbaijan before sitting down with them in a trilateral format.
“Work on the peace treaty is undoubtedly fundamental,” he told the press after the trilateral meeting. ”But our partners confirmed today that without solving the issues of delimitation, unblocking transport and economic links and an overall improvement of the security situation in both Karabakh and on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border it’s very hard to make progress on concrete aspects of the peace treaty . We discussed all this together.”
Lavrov said in that regard that a Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani task force dealing with practical modalities of the transport links will meet next week after a long pause.
“We hope that a positive result will be achieved as a result. The parties are already very, very close to a final agreement,” he said without elaborating.