Blinken also discussed the conflict with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a meeting of the top diplomats from OSCE member states held in Sweden’s capital Stockholm.
“We urge all parties to resolve other outstanding issues like border delimitation and demarcation, the restoration of economic and transport links, and to continue to engage with the Minsk Group co-chairs for a lasting peaceful end to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Blinken said in his speech at the annual conference.
He also welcomed the “resumption of direct dialogue between the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan.” He called on the conflicting sides to “make progress on humanitarian issues,” including the release of Armenian prisoners held in Azerbaijan.
“And I hope there, we can all work together, including with Russia, to continue to make progress,” added Blinken.
In virtually identical Twitter posts, Blinken said he discussed with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov “our intensified efforts to resolve all outstanding issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
“The United States will stay engaged, including the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair process,” he wrote.
According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Mirzoyan briefed Blinken on Azerbaijani troops’ fresh “incursion into Armenia’s sovereign territory” which triggered deadly fighting on the border between the two South Caucasus states last month.
“In that context, the interlocutors stressed the importance of taking steps to deescalate the situation,” read a statement released by the ministry.
Bayramov was reported to have presented Blinken with the Azerbaijani version of the border clashes that left at least 13 soldiers from both sides dead.
Bayramov and Mirzoyan traded accusations when they addressed the OSCE gathering. At the same time they both expressed hope that understandings reached by the leaders of their countries in Russia last week will help to ease tensions in the conflict zone.