No Meetings Expected with his Azerbaijani Counterpart
Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan on Thursday held separate meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the margins of an OSCE summit in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia.
The meeting with Lavrov was the first since Azerbaijan’s large-scale attack on Artsakh that forced the exodus of more than 100,000 Artsakh residents to Armenia. Yerevan has blamed the inaction by Russian peacekeepers as relations with Moscow have significantly strained.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry in a statement simply said that Mirzoyan presented Yerevan’s positions regarding Moscow’s policies and efforts regarding regional issues.
The Russian foreign ministry’s read out of the meeting specifically discussed efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
It said Lavrov reaffirmed Moscow’s readiness to “vigorously” facilitate an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal based on understandings brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Armenia’s foreign ministry also announced that Mirzoyan did not have a meeting scheduled with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhum Bayramov.
According to an Armenian foreign ministry statement, Mirzoyan and Blinken discussed issues related to security in the South Caucasus, among them the latest developments in the Armenia-Azerbaijan normalization process.
“Foreign Minister Mirzoyan underscored that despite Azerbaijan’s non-constructive conduct and the ethnic cleansing that was perpetrated in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the humanitarian issues, Armenia has conveyed to Azerbaijan proposals regarding the draft peace treaty in line with the well-known principles,” the Armenian foreign ministry said.
Mirzoyan added that in the event that Azerbaijan clearly commits to these principles, “it will be possible to achieve significant progress in agreeing to a draft.”
While in Skopje, Mirzoyan also met with Javier Colomina, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Mirzoyan reportedly stressed that Armenia, reaffirming its strong commitment to establish stability in the region and despite the existing challenges deriving also from the ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan, is continuing to actively engage in the negotiation of a draft agreement on the normalization of relations with Azerbaijan.
Mirzoyan also stressed that for the process to advance, it is imperative that Azerbaijan publicly recognize Armenia’s territorial integrity and agree to border delimitation based on an agreement reached in 1991 and the utilization of Soviet-era maps.