MUNICH — The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Munich on Saturday for talks organized by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“We believe that Armenia and Azerbaijan have a genuinely historic opportunity to secure enduring peace after more than 30 years of conflict,” Blinken said at the start of his trilateral meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

“The parties themselves have renewed their focus on the peace process, including through direct conversation as well as with the EU and ourselves,” he said. “The United States is committed to doing anything we can to support these efforts, whether it’s directly with our friends, whether it’s in a trilateral format such as this or with other international partners.”

“I’m very grateful for the presence of both the president and the prime minister today, and look forward to a good conversation. Thank you,” the US State Department quoted Blinken as saying.

“The trilateral meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev took place within the framework of the Munich Security Conference. The course of the works around a peace treaty draft between Armenia and Azerbaijan was discussed at the meeting, as well as the unblocking of regional transport infrastructures and delimitation between the two countries in accordance with the agreement reached in Prague. Prime Minister Pashinyan reiterated Armenia’s commitment to achieve the signing of a peace treaty that would truly guarantee lasting peace and stability in the region. At the same time, Nikol Pashinyan stressed the fact of the illegal blockade of Lachin corridor by Azerbaijan and the resulting humanitarian, environmental and energy crisis in Nagorno Karabakh. The continuity of the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan was highlighted,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a read-out.

Aliyev told Azerbaijani television that the summit was “constructive.” He spoke of “progress” in Armenia’s position on the peace treaty sought by Baku.

Aliyev again defended Azerbaijani government-backed protesters blocking the Lachin corridor to Karabakh on ostensibly environmental grounds. He reportedly said that Azerbaijan should be able to set up a permanent checkpoint in the corridor.

The Russian-brokered agreement that stopped the 2020 Armenian-Azerbaijani war placed Karabakh’s land link with Armenia under the control of Russian peacekeepers. It also committed Baku to guaranteeing safe passage through it. Yerevan has repeatedly condemned the blockade as a gross violation of these provisions.

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