Mirzoyan and Bayramov reported no concrete agreements after the meeting facilitated by the Georgian government. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was quick to hail it as a “positive step.”
“Direct dialogue is the surest path to resolving Azerbaijani and Armenian differences,” tweeted Blinken.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried reportedly called for the continuation of the dialogue during her phone conversation with Bayramov.
According to the official Azerbaijani readout of the call, Bayramov presented Baku’s position on the planned demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and its opening to cargo shipments as well as preparations for official negotiations on a peace treaty between the two South Caucasus states.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry made no mention of that treaty in a statement on Mirzoyan’s separate call with Donfried. It mentioned only the border demarcation and Armenian-Azerbaijani transport links.
“Ararat Mirzoyan emphasized that the Armenian side continues to attach importance to the role of the co-chairmanship and the co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group in the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” added the statement.
Baku has repeatedly questioned the need for the mediating group co-headed by the United States, France and Russia.
The Armenian and Azerbaijani ministers met in the Georgian capital the day after CIA Director William Burns made a surprise visit to Yerevan. The Karabakh conflict was apparently on the agenda of Burns’s talks with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. Pashinian’s press office said they discussed “processes taking place in the South Caucasus” and “the fight against terrorism.”
Washington has not commented on the purpose of the CIA chief’s visit.