The prime minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, announced yesterday (8 December) that Armenia would take part in a preliminary meeting with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Iran this Friday as part of the 3+2 format.
While this had previously been referred to as “3+3”, Georgia doubled down on its opposition to this format, stating earlier today that it would not participate in the meeting: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has repeatedly expressed a clear position on the initiative of regional cooperation in the so-called 3+3 format (…). We do not consider participating in that format, and therefore Georgia will not be represented at that meeting scheduled for December 10”.
The Turkish foreign ministry released a report earlier today announcing that an inaugural 6-way meeting would take place in Russia this week to discuss peace in the South Caucasus. “The first meeting of the 3+3-format regional cooperation platform proposed by our President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to ensure lasting peace and stability in the South Caucasus will be held in Moscow on December 10, 2021”. It added that the meeting would be attended by the deputy foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran and Turkey, but did not mention Georgia.
Pashinyan stated that Armenia may be interested in this format on the condition that it should be used to address issues not already discussed in other platforms, such as the OSCE Minsk Group settlement efforts. The Armenian foreign ministry also reported yesterday that the foreign ministers of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, and Russia, Sergei Lavrov, had discussed the 3+3 format in their telephone conversation.