Armenia will hold more negotiations with Azerbaijan if the latter takes confidence-building measures that were agreed by the two countries’ presidents in Vienna on May 16, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said on Thursday.
“In order for negotiations to resume, conditions have to put be in place,” he told Armenia lawmakers. “Namely, the agreements that were reached at the Vienna summit must be fully implemented.”
Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev pledged to strengthen the shaky ceasefire regime in Nagorno-Karabakh, including through independent investigations of armed incidents that would be conducted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. During the talks mediated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, they also agreed to expand an OSCE mission monitoring the truce.
In a joint statement issued in Vienna, Kerry, Lavrov and a senior French official also announced that Aliyev and Sarkisian will meet in June “with an aim to resuming negotiations on a comprehensive settlement.”
Nalbandian stressed that another Armenian-Azerbaijan summit is contingent on Baku’s full compliance with the Vienna agreements. “If that mechanism, that possibility of permanent [truce] monitoring is created, if the capacity of the personal representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office and his team is expanded and if the kind of events that happened in early April are thereby precluded, it will be possible to start those negotiations,” he said. “Right now efforts are being made in this direction.”
Nalbandian announced in that regard that he and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov will hold separate talks “in early June” with the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.
The APA news agency quoted Mammadyarov as saying on Thursday that the Vienna summit created “favorable conditions” for restarting the Karabakh peace process. But he did not comment on the confidence-building measures that are strongly advocated by the international mediators and Armenia. Baku opposed them at least until recently.