Armenia and Azerbaijan have discussed the substance of a possible peace deal on Nagorno-Karabakh for the first time in more than two years, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said on Friday.
Mammadyarov said his latest meeting with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian held in Kiev was quite different from other peace talks held after the collapse of a June 2011 Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Kazan, Russia.
“We touched upon and discussed concrete issues,” the APA news agency quoted him as telling reporters in Baku. “I can say that concrete issues had not been discussed after the meeting in Kazan.”
Mammadyarov refused to disclose those issues. “I cannot say that we reached an agreement because we have our position and Armenia has its position. But we will continue the discussions,” he added.
Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sarkisian came close to ironing out their differences on a framework peace accord put forward by international mediators when they met in Kazan. The summit did not produce a breakthrough reportedly because of last-minute changes in the proposed settlement demanded by Aliyev.
The peace process remained deadlocked until the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents met again in Vienna late last month. Although the two men announced no concrete agreements, they revived hopes for a Karabakh settlement by agreeing to meet again early next year. They instructed their foreign ministers to prepare ground for the next summit.
Mammadyarov said he and Nalbandian will inform their respective presidents about the results of the Kiev talks. “The co-chairs [of the OSCE Minsk Group] will again visit the region after December 16 and we will present them with our response,” he said, adding that the two ministers will likely meet again in late January.