Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian said on Thursday he will meet with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov again soon for fresh talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“Our objective is to continue the dialogue at the level of the foreign ministers,” he told reporters.
Mnatsakanian did not specify the date or venue of the talks. But other sources told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that they are likely to be held in New York in September.
The two ministers most recently met in Washington on June 20 in the presence of the U.S., Russian and French mediators co-heading the OSCE Minsk Group. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry described that meeting as “positive.”
The mediators said it focused on recent armed incidents around Karabakh and “core issues of the settlement process.” In a joint statement, they said they urged the conflicting parties to “restore an atmosphere conducive to peace and favorable to substantive talks.”
Mnatsakanian and Mammadyarov have met on a regular basis over the past year. There have also been a series of face-to-face negotiations between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Deadly truce violations along “the line of contact” around Karabakh and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border decreased significantly following the first Aliyev-Pashinian talks held in September 2018.
According to Mnatsakanian, another Armenian-Azerbaijani summit is not being “planned” yet.
In a speech delivered before senior Armenian diplomats on Tuesday, Mnatsakanian charged that “Azerbaijan’s unchanged policy of Armenophobia continues to threaten the existence of the Karabakh people.” He also said that Yerevan will never accept a peaceful settlement limiting the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry condemned these remarks on Wednesday, saying that they could reignite tensions in the Karabakh conflict zone. “The Armenian authorities must finally decide whether they want peace or an escalation of the situation,” it warned in a statement.
Mnatsakanian shrugged off Baku’s reaction. “I don’t want to pay much attention to that because it would mean entering a field which is not interesting for me,” he said.