Turkish Press: ​Azerbaijan says talks with Armenia in US moved ‘one step forward’

Turkey –

Azerbaijan says talks with Armenia in US moved ‘one step forward’

No final agreement but there was headway in negotiations, says Azerbaijani foreign minister

16:48 . 10/05/2023 Wednesday

Azerbaijan on Wednesday said the process of normalization of ties with Armenia moved “one step forward” in the US last week.

“Over the course of four days in Washington, we had rather intensive discussions around the peace treaty,” Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov told reporters in Baku.

Bayramov and his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan took part in peace talks in the US capital between April 30 and May 3, with meetings at the White House and State Department.

In a statement after the sessions, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said, "both demonstrated a sincere commitment to normalizing relations and ending the long-standing conflict between their two countries," adding that "with additional goodwill, flexibility, and compromise, an agreement is within reach."

Despite not agreeing to a final deal, Bayramov said there was headway. “We've gone one step further. We must approach this process realistically … Azerbaijan constantly demonstrates commitment to the peace process,” he added.

“The approaches of the Azerbaijani side are unchanged and consistent: we are in favor of normalizing ties with Yerevan. Unfortunately, contradictory statements are heard from Armenia from time to time,” Bayramov said.

Commenting on the forthcoming meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Brussels on May 14, Bayramov said they will become an integral part of the normalization process.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Most of the territory was liberated by Baku during a war in the fall of 2020, which ended after a Russian-brokered peace agreement and also opened the door to normalization.

Tensions between the neighboring countries increased in recent months over the Lachin corridor, the only land route giving Armenia access to Karabakh.