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Armenian FM Expects More Talks With Azeri Counterpart


Armenia - Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan speaks in the parliament, Yerevan, October 6, 2021

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said on Wednesday that he and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov will meet again soon for peace talks mediated by the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Mirzoyan gave no dates for the meeting. He said only that he and Bayramov agreed to continue their direct contacts during talks held in New York on September 24 in the presence of the three mediators.

It was the first face-to-face meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s top diplomats since a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement that stopped the Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Nagorno-Karabakh last November.

In a joint statement on the New York talks, the co-chairs said they “proposed specific focused measures to deescalate the situation and possible next steps.” They did not disclose those proposals.

“The resumption of discussions, the negotiating process in this format is definitely in the interests of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh,” Mirzoyan said during the Armenian government’s question-and-answer session in the parliament.

He said the very fact of such negotiations disproves Azerbaijani claims that that Azerbaijan ended the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with its victory in the six-week war.

It is also expected that the three mediators will visit Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabakh soon.

Deputy Prime Minister Suren Papikian announced, meanwhile, that Azerbaijan has set free an Armenian army officer who went missing on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan in August.

The Armenian Defense Ministry suggested at the time that the 32-year-old Lieutenant Artur Davidian lost his way and strayed into Azerbaijani-controlled territory in thick fog.

Azerbaijan continues to hold dozens of other Armenian soldiers and civilians captured during or shortly after the war stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire last November. Yerevan regularly demands their unconditional release and repatriation.

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