BAKU (Combined Sources)—After meeting with Azerbaijani leadership during a visit to Baku, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sounded an optimistic note saying that a Karabakh accord is “closer than ever.
Lavrov told reporters in Baku on Tuesday that “we have reasons to believe that we’re much closer now to success than ever before” in reaching a peace deal after talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Negotiations “have never been so intensive. They’re also substantive,” Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at the same news conference.
The Russian foreign minister said his meeting with Aliyev on Tuesday was “positive.” He met with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian last week.
“This will help us move forward in implementing the understanding reached by the presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan at their meeting in Saint Petersburg on June 20,” he said referring to an agreement reached in the Russian city, the details of which have not been publicized.
Last week President Barack Obama “expressed his readiness to intensify efforts” to resolve the conflict during a phone conversation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, according to the White House.
The State Department announced Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Moscow on Thursday to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with senior Russian officials. He met separately with President Serzh Sarkisian and Aliyev on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Warsaw last week.