The officials make up an Armenian-Azerbaijani commission formed for that purpose in May. The commission is co-headed by Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigorian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Shahin Mustafayev.
“The parties discussed organizational and procedural issues, exchanged detailed views on regulations for joint activities of the commissions and further work,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It gave no other details of the meeting which was also attended by Russian officials led by Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reported, for its part, that the meeting took place “with the advisory assistance of Russia.”
“The Russian delegation expressed its readiness to continue to provide advisory and technical assistance in the negotiations between the delegations of Azerbaijan and Armenia on the delimitation of the state border between the two countries,” it said.
Overchuk, Grigorian and Mustafayev also co-chair a Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani working group dealing with practical modalities of opening transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The group was set up shortly after the Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the war in Nagorno-Karabakh in November 2020.
The demarcation process is meant to end long-running border disputes and skirmishes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces that have broken out regularly throughout the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Armenian government insisted until this spring that the delimitation and demarcation of the border should begin after a set of confidence-building measures, notably the withdrawal of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops from their border posts. Baku rejected that demand.
Vigen Khachatrian, an Armenian pro-government parliamentarian, said on Tuesday that Yerevan was right to start the demarcation talks despite Baku’s stance.
“I think that this is going to be a very long process,” Khachatrian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “There will be enough time to discuss [the troop withdrawal.] This is a very delicate issue and we should avoid preconditions.”
But Tigran Abrahamian, a senior opposition lawmaker, reiterated Armenian opposition concerns over the outcome of the process. He claimed that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian may agree to cede large chunks of Armenian territory to Azerbaijan.
“This haste is certainly not in Armenia’s interests because due to this government Armenia is currently not in a position to secure favorable terms for itself,” said Abrahamian.