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Pompeo To Meet Armenian, Azeri FMs


U.S. -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department, in Washington, October 14, 2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed on Tuesday that their foreign ministers will separately meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington later this week for talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Citing “U.S. government documents,” Politico.com reported that Pompeo’s meetings with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov are scheduled for Friday.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry confirmed the information. The ministry spokeswoman, Anna Naghdalian, said preparations for Mnatsakanian’s visit to Washington are already underway.

Naghdalian would not say whether Mnatsakanian and Bayramov could also meet with each other in the U.S. capital.

“I have no information about a meeting in a different format or preparations for it,” she told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

According to Politico.com, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United States did not rule out the possibility of face-to-face talks between the two ministers.

Bayramov and Mnatsakanian most recently met in Moscow on October 9-10. The 11-hour talks mediated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov resulted in an Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement to stop fighting around Karabakh and resume “substantive” peace talks.

The hostilities have continued since then, however, with the conflicting parties accusing each of not respecting the ceasefire deal.

Joe Biden, President Donald Trump’s Democratic rival in the November 3 presidential election, last week expressed deep concern over the “collapse” of the ceasefire and accused the Trump administration of being “largely passive and disengaged.”

Pompeo has repeatedly called for an end to the Armenian-Azerbaijani war that broke out on September 27. He has also criticized Turkey’s military support for Azerbaijan in the conflict.

The United States, Russia and France have long been leading international efforts to end the Karabakh conflict in their capacity as co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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