Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers take part in OSCE Ministerial council

The foreign ministers of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, and Azerbaijan, Jeyhun Bayramov, took part in the 28th meeting of the Ministerial Council of the OSCE in Stockholm this week. 

Both ministers met separately with a number of their international counterparts, including the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken. A meeting of the CSTO foreign ministers, organised by Mirzoyan since Armenia currently holds the rotating chairmanship of that institution, was also held on the sidelines of the Council.

In a speech to the Council, Mirozyan said that Azerbaijani troops had been infiltrating across the border since May 2021, and that they “maintain and continue strengthening their illegal presence on the sovereign territory of Armenia”. 

He also noted that Azerbaijan continues to “ignore the calls of the international community for the immediate and unconditional release of all Armenian prisoners of war and civilian hostages”, and that “its armed forces captured more military personnel in the course of its attack on the territory of the Republic of Armenia”. He added that he hoped the 26 November trilateral meeting organised by Russia would “pave the way” towards de-escalation. 

Mirzoyan stated that Armenia was willing and ready for negotiations to achieve lasting Stability in the South Caucasus, calling on Azerbaijan to resume the peace process. 

In his speech, Bayramov began by stating that “the ‘Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’, which has lasted for almost 30 years, is over. After the end of the conflict, Azerbaijan has actively engaged in large-scale reconstruction work in the liberated territories. Traces of the occupation are being eliminated and the return to normal life is well underway”. 

He added that the OSCE could actively contribute to the post-conflict rehabilitation and accused Armenia of violating the ceasefire and the trilateral statements by not fully withdrawing its troops from Azerbaijani territory. 

Bayramov highlighted the issue of landmines, calling on Armenia to provide all its accurate mine maps. On the issue of the 26 November trilateral meeting, the Azerbaijani FM said that it had been a “significant step” forward. He said that “the three leaders held detailed and substantive discussions on the implementation of previously agreed parameters and also identified further steps related to post-conflict normalization”.

He concluded by calling for joint efforts by the international community to “help consolidate security and stability”. 

source: with agencies
photo: OSCE Ministerial meeting in Stockholm; Official OSCE website