Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Pashinian pledged to set up a joint commission on border delimitation and demarcation during a trilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin held in Sochi last November.
The Armenian government said earlier this month that the commission should start its work after a set of confidence-building measures, notably the withdrawal of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops from their border posts. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov rejected the Armenian “preconditions,” saying that Baku stands for an immediate and unconditional start of the demarcation.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry responded by saying on January 20 that Aliyev and Pashinian agreed on the mutual troop withdrawal during their follow-up negotiations held in Brussels in December.
Mirzoyan insisted that the two sides are not deadlocked on the issue. But he refused to go into details.
“Discussions are continuing … We are now trying to get clarifications about what exactly is unacceptable to them, on what grounds, and what new solutions there could be,” Mirzoyan told journalists.
Russia regularly calls for a quick start of the demarcation process, saying that it would minimize ceasefire violations along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The process is due to be mediated and facilitated by Russian officials.
Two senior European diplomats discussed the matter with Aliyev and Pashinian when they visited Baku and Yerevan last week. Toivo Klaar, the European Union’s special representative to the South Caucasus, described the talks as “excellent.”