MINSK – The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met on Thursday for the second time in less than a month for talks brokered by their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
They also held separate talks with Lavrov ahead of the trilateral meeting, which took place on the sidelines of a meeting of top diplomats from a dozen former Soviet states in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. The Russian Foreign Ministry published Lavrov’s statements at the beginning of his talks with Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov.
“We spoke extensively in Moscow recently, but today we can look at some additional issues, both bilateral and, of course, the region,” Lavrov told the Armenian minister. “Karabakh must always get our attention.”
In an interview with Bayramov, he quoted unspecified “problems that need to be solved”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that at their subsequent trilateral meeting, ministers had “reviewed” the implementation of a Russian-brokered agreement that ended the six-week war in Karabakh last November.
“They concluded that most of the provisions of this declaration are being implemented successfully. They agreed to intensify the work on the remaining topics, ”it said without further explanation.
Mirzoyan was quoted by his press office as saying that Baku continues to hold dozens of Armenian prisoners of war and civilian prisoners in violation of the ceasefire agreement. He stressed the need for the immediate and unconditional release of all Armenian prisoners.
He also reaffirmed Yerevan’s avowed commitment to a “comprehensive and lasting settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh”, promoted by the US, Russian and French Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.
The three mediators attended Mirzoyan’s first meeting with Bayramov in New York on September 24th. In a joint statement, they said they had “proposed specific targeted measures to de-escalate the situation and possible next steps”. They did not disclose these suggestions.
The mediators are expected to visit Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabakh soon. It will be her first tour of the conflict area since the 2020 war.