Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed the situation in Nagorno Karabakh during their meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, a senior State Department official told reporters.
“They discussed Afghanistan at length. They also talked about Syria, and they had a relatively long conversation about the Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh,” the State Department official said.
“The U.S. has tried to be helpful in supporting a peace and reconciliation conversation between the two of them [Armenia and Azerbaijan]. We participated in a swap of – we midwifed a swap of some de-mining maps that the Armenians turned over to the Azerbaijanis in the disputed territory for the release of some detainees,” the State Department spokesperson.
“So the question now becomes whether, with U.S. support, with other Minsk Group countries’ support, with Turkey’s support, we can do more to facilitate a de-escalation of tensions between the two, both along the border, with regard to remaining detainees, with regard to remaining mines, and then take some – see them – help them take some small steps which might lay the path towards a larger peace and reconciliation process,” added State Department.
“So the Secretary made clear to Turkey, which has been very much involved in this and is a neighbor, that we are prepared to be helpful if we can be. We are also at a level below the Secretary having bilateral meetings with the Armenians and the Azerbaijanis this week and making the same offer there,” said the State Department official.