No concrete agreements were announced immediately after the talks held on the sidelines of an annual session of the UN General Assembly.
“They discussed next steps, and the Secretary encouraged the sides to meet again before the end of the month,” Ned Price, the U.S. State Department spokesman, said in written comments.
In his words, Blinken stressed “the need to prevent further hostilities” and “the importance of returning to the peace process.”
The United States reportedly helped to stop the hostilities on September 14. Blinken spoke twice with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev by phone last week.
“We are encouraged by the fact that the fighting has ceased and there have not been any additional military actions over the last few days,” Blinken said in his opening remarks at the talks. He said both Aliyev and Pashinian assured him that they are “ready for peace.”
“Strong, sustainable diplomatic engagement is the best path for everyone. There is no military solution to the differences between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” added the top U.S. diplomat.
In a statement on the New York meeting, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan demanded the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from “the sovereign territory of Armenia” seized by them during the latest fighting as well as in 2021.
At the same time, Mirzoyan “reaffirmed the Armenian side’s readiness to engage in a process of comprehensive normalization of relations” between the two South Caucasus countries, said the statement. It did not say whether he reached any understandings with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.
Earlier on Monday, Armenia’s Security Council insisted that Azerbaijani forces attacked various sections of the border in a bid to impose on Yerevan “solutions” sought by Baku. It said that Armenia will not bow to Azerbaijan’s “policy of threat and coercion.”
“The Republic of Armenia will protect its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity by all available means,” read a statement released by the council after a meeting chaired by Pashinian.
Mirzoyan claimed on September 14 that the opening of an “exterritorial corridor” connecting Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave is one of the key aims of the Azerbaijani “aggression.” The Armenian ambassador to the UN, Mher Margarian, claimed afterwards that Baku is planning another, more large-scale attack on Armenia for that purpose.
Baku has blamed Yerevan for the worst violence in the conflict zone since the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh. It says that the hostilities were triggered by cross-border Armenian “provocations.”