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No Date Set For Next Armenian-Azeri Talks


Armenia -- Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian speaks at a news conference in Yerevan, December 2, 2019.

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian on Thursday declined to give a possible date for his fresh talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov anticipated by international mediators.

Mnatsakanian and Mammadyarov have met regularly in the last 18 months, most recently in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava on December 4. They appeared to have failed to make major progress towards a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during that meeting which Mammadyarov described as “tough.”

The U.S., Russian and French mediators co-heading the OSCE Minsk Group said afterwards that the two ministers will meet again early next year “to intensify negotiations on the core issues of a peaceful settlement.”

“Ever since our government took office in May 2018 we have not dragged out or delayed the [negotiating] process at any point,” Mnatsakanian told reporters when asked when that meeting will take place. “As you know, we worked quite actively last year.”

“The process is going on,” he said after meeting with pro-government lawmakers in Yerevan. “You know that we announce a meeting when we reach agreement on it. We announce it simultaneously with the co-chairs.”

Mnatsakanian also noted that it is “too early” to talk about fresh talks between Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Mammadyarov claimed later in December that the Bratislava talks focused on the most recent version of a framework peace accord originally drafted by the U.S., Russian and French mediators in 2007. He said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presented it to the conflicting parties two years ago.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry insisted, however, that “no document is being discussed” by the parties at present.

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