A trilateral meeting took place on Thursday (14 October) between the foreign ministers of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, and Azerbaijan, Jeyhun Bayramov, on the sidelines of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) ministerial meeting.
The trio discussed issues relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as the implementation of the 10 November agreement.
The Russian statement read: “The Russian side welcomed the mutual intention expressed by the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to normalize relations between the two countries, and confirmed its readiness to fully contribute to this process both in a national capacity and through the OSCE [Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe] Minsk Group Co-Chairs.”
A statement by the foreign ministry of Armenia said that, “The Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan highly appreciated Russia’s mediation efforts aimed at the cessation of hostilities, and in the context of the security of the Armenians of Artsakh the presence of the peacekeepers of Russia in Nagorno-Karabakh was underlined”. It added that Mirzoyan drew attention to the aspects of the 10 November Statement that were not yet implemented, such as the “need for immediate and unconditional repatriation of Armenian prisoners of war and other captives”. The Armenian FM reaffirmed the necessity of resolving these issues within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.
Bayramov made explicit reference to Azerbaijan’s willingness to normalise relations and begin negotiations with Armenia. “It was stated that Azerbaijan is ready to normalize relations with Armenia on the basis of respect for the principles of international law, in particular sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders. In this regard, it was noted that it is important to start negotiations on the process of delimiting the border of Azerbaijan with Armenia. The importance of the implementation of agreements on the opening of all transport communications in the region was also emphasized”. It also stressed the need for Armenia to hand over accurate mine maps.
Lavrov also held bilateral meetings with Mirzoyan and Bayramov, in which issues of regional security and Armenian-Russian and Azerbaijani-Russian co-operation were discussed. A meeting of the Council of CIS heads of state is also taking place today, involving Putin, Pashinyan and Aliyev.