CIS Foreign Minister meeting in Minsk

MINSK — The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met on Thursday for the second time in less than a month for talks mediated by their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

They also held separate talks with Lavrov before the trilateral meeting held on the sidelines of a gathering in Belarus’s capital Minsk of top diplomats from a dozen ex-Soviet states. The Russian Foreign Ministry publicized Lavrov’s comments made at the start of his conversations with Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov.

“We spoke at length in Moscow recently but can today look at some additional issues of both bilateral character and of course the region,” Lavrov told the Armenian minister. “Karabakh must always receive our attention.”

Speaking with Bayramov, he cited unspecified “issues that need to be resolved.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that at their ensuing trilateral meeting the ministers “reviewed” the implementation of a Russian-brokered agreement that stopped the six-week war in Karabakh last November.

“They concluded that most provisions of that Statement are being successfully implemented. They agreed to intensify work on the remaining issues,” it said without elaborating.

Mirzoyan was cited by his press office as saying that Baku is continuing to hold dozens of Armenian prisoners of war and civilian captives in breach of the truce accord. He stressed the need for the immediate and unconditional release of all Armenian detaines.

He also reaffirmed Yerevan’s stated commitment to a “comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh” advanced by the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

The three mediators took part in Mirzoyan’s first meeting with Bayramov held in New York on September 24. In a joint statement, they said they “proposed specific focused measures to deescalate the situation and possible next steps.” They did not disclose those proposals.

The mediators are expected to visit Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabakh soon. It will be their first tour of the conflict zone since the 2020 war.

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