Blinken hosts Armenia, Azeri foreign ministers, urges resumption of peace talks

Picture source - Reuters

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken brought together foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov, for the first time since the brutal border confrontation last week.

“There is a path to a durable peace that resolves the differences through diplomacy. The United States is prepared to do whatever it can to support these efforts. And I’m grateful to both of my colleagues for being here today to pursue this conversation,” Blinken said, as reported by Aljazeera.

As cited by Reuters, he further added that Washington was “encouraged by the fact that the fighting has ceased and there have not been any additional military actions over (the) last few days”.

A Deutsche Welle report cited State Department spokesperson Ned Price as saying following the meeting that “Blinken conveyed condolences for the lives lost and emphasized the need to prevent further hostilities, underscoring the importance of returning to the peace process”.

According to Price, Blinken highlighted the necessity of stopping further combat and restarting the peace process. They also talked about the next steps, and the secretary urged the parties to get together once more before the month was over.

According to the report, Mirzoyan urged Azerbaijan armed troops to leave Armenian territory and for “international mechanisms” to be introduced “to prevent further escalations”.

On the other hand, Bayramov, before the meeting, stated that the Azeri nation is “happy with the level of relation” they have with the US and further added that his face-to-face dialogue with Mirzoyan was not exceptional. “We are always open for meetings,” he added.

The meeting was held in New York on Monday on the sidelines of the annual UNGA and just a day after US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Armenia, in which Pelosi condemned the Azeri attack.

The purpose of this trilateral meeting was to encourage the peace talks between the two states following the ceasefire after the two days of deadly border aggression over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.