Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said on Friday that he may meet with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in the coming weeks for further talks on the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“A meeting of the foreign ministers may take place soon,” he told reporters. “It’s possible in July.”
The U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group said in a June 19 statement that they plan to meet Nalbandian and Mammadyarov soon to discuss “modalities of the forthcoming work.” They have frequently been present at face-to-face talks held by the two ministers.
The three mediators issued the statement at the end of their latest visits to Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert. They said the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents “expressed their intention to resume political dialogue in an attempt to find a compromise solution for the most controversial issues of the settlement.”
It was not clear whether Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev are ready to meet in the near future. The mediators have been pressing for such a meeting in the hope of reviving the Karabakh peace process.
In March, the Minsk Group’s American co-chair, Richard Hoagland, expressed hope that Nalbandian and Mammadyarov will “prepare the ground” for an Armenian-Azerbaijani summit. The top Armenian and Azerbaijani diplomats reported no agreements to that effect after they last met in Moscow in April.
Meeting with Armenian lawmakers, Nalbandian reiterated that any peace deal struck by Baku and Yerevan would have to be approved by Karabakh’s leadership. He said the mediators’ formal peace proposals have made it clear that “representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh must participate in the drafting of the final peace accord.” “No agreement can be signed without that,” he said.