PARIS — The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met late on Wednesday for the third time in less than two months for talks hosted by their French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian and attended by OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov also met with Le Drian as well as the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group separately before their face-to-face talks held in Paris.
Le Drian tweeted afterwards that he brought them together to “help reduce tensions” between Armenia and Azerbaijan one year after a Russian-brokered ceasefire stopped the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“France remains fully engaged in in the Minsk Group,” he said. “We do not forget the victims of the war interrupted a year ago.”
The first meeting of Mirzoyan and Bayramov took place in New York on September 24 in the presence of the group’s co-chairs. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov organized and presided over their second encounter in Minsk on October 14.
The French Foreign Ministry said Le Drian sought to “keep up the momentum” in Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations.
“In these various exchanges, the Minister reiterated France’s desire to contribute to the strengthening of dialogue between the parties,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, during his meetings in Paris Mirzoyan stuck to the official Armenian line that the Karabakh conflict remains unresolved and requires a “comprehensive” settlement based on the mediators’ peace proposals. He also condemned the recent killings by Azerbaijani forces of two Karabakh Armenian civilians and Baku’s reluctance to free dozens of Armenian prisoners.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said, for its part, that Bayramov discussed with the Armenian foreign minister and the mediators ways of normalizing Azerbaijan’s relations with Armenia given the “new realities in the region.”