BAKU — The Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia are to meet later in June to discuss preparations for the meeting of the presidents of the two countries, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told reporters, Trend agency reports.
Mammadyarov made the announcement one week after he and Nalbandian held separate talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington. The Azerbaijani minister went on to meet with U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group in London.
“The purpose of the presidential meeting is the discussion of the serious issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I look forward to meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian to comprehensively discuss the preparation for the presidents’ meeting,” the Minister added.
The three mediators visited Baku and Yerevan late last month. They said they are now “working intensively” with the conflicting parties to organize a face-to-face meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents.
“The mediators are continuing to prepare for a meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Regnum quoted Mammadyarov as telling journalists in Baku. “But we want it to be substantive and not for the sake of a meeting.”
Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sarkisian most recently met in the Russian city of Sochi in January 2012. The talks were hosted by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. In a joint written statement issued there, Aliyev and Sarkisian pledged to intensify their efforts to agree on the Basic Principles of a Karabakh settlement put forward by the mediators.
However, the conflicting parties have since made no progress towards bridging their differences on the proposed peace accord. “It is critical that all the parties … try to find a way to help break the impasse,” Kerry told Nalbandian last week.