WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 29 said hard work remains to be done to reach an agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan after the conclusion of three days of talks in Washington between the two Caucasus countries’ foreign ministers. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and counterpart Ceyhun Bayramov were meeting in an attempt to settle decades-long disputes and to seek a permanent solution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Blinken cited agreement on some matters but didn’t provide details. The ministers didn’t comment.

“I think there is also a clear understanding on everyone’s part that the closer you get to reaching agreement, in some cases the harder it gets by definition,” added Blinken.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Armenia and Azerbaijan continue to disagree on practical modalities of delimiting their border and organizing a dialogue between Baku and Nagorno-Karabakh’s leadership, .

The Foreign Ministry said they agreed on more articles of an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty but did not iron out their differences on “some key issues.”

The ministry spokeswoman, Ani Badalyan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that those issues include the border delimitation, troop disengagement and how to “properly address the rights and security of the Nagorno-Karabakh people under an international mechanism.”

Also, the Armenian side wants to use 1975 Soviet maps as a basis for delimiting the long border. Baku has opposed the idea so far.

Tigran Grigoryan, a Yerevan-based political analyst, said the parties’ failure to eliminate any of these sticking points means that they did not achieve a breakthrough during the three-day talks. The signing of the peace treaty is therefore still not on the cards, he told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

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