Armenia and Azerbaijan have made "tangible progress" during several days of talks in Washington D.C. this week, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Speaking at the closing session of talks between Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov on Thursday (4 May), Blinken said that "the two sides have discussed some very tough issues over the last few days and they’ve made tangible progress on a durable peace agreement. I hope that they see – and I believe that they do, as I do – that there is an agreement within sight, within reach."
He added that achieving an agreement would not only be "historic", but also "profoundly in the interests of the people of Azerbaijan and Armenia, and would have very positive effects even beyond their two countries."
Blinken thanked Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, for sending their respective foreign ministers and delegations to Washington D.C.
Positions on key areas differ, according to Armenian and Azerbaijani MFAs
In a joint statement released by the Armenian and Azerbaijani Ministries of Foreign Affairs, both Yerevan and Baku recognised progress between the countries, but noted that positions on key issues remain.
The statement reads, "the Ministers and their teams advanced mutual understanding on some articles of the draft bilateral Agreement on Peace and Establishment of Interstate Relations, meanwhile acknowledging that the positions on some key issues remain divergent."
"Both Ministers expressed their appreciation to the US side for hosting negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The parties agreed to continue the discussions," the statement concluded.