Jeyhun Bayramov and Ararat Mirzoyan had a one-on-one conversation in a room with ascetic furnishings, which created a more confidential dialogue without looking at the walls.

Jeyhun Bayramov and Ararat Mirzoyan had a one-on-one conversation in a room with ascetic furnishings, which created a more confidential dialogue without looking at the walls.

According to Euronews, “the basis for the talks was the agreement reached in May by the leaders of the two countries, mediated by the European Union, to 'advance dialogue' to reach a peace treaty. The parties discussed steps to normalize relations and the progress in fulfilling the obligations assumed earlier.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, in turn, noted the importance of solving humanitarian problems, including the release and return of Armenian prisoners of war, clarifying the fate of the missing.

Mirzoyan reaffirmed Yerevan's position that "a political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is important on the path to achieving a stable and long-term peace in the region, and in this context stressed the importance of using the institution and experience of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship in accordance with its international mandate."

Bayramov noted that "all efforts should be aimed at achieving progress in the settlement of interstate relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, based on the post-conflict realities that emerged after the resolution of the armed conflict between the two states."

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said that in this context, the need was emphasized to fulfill all the provisions of the Trilateral Statements signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia, and in particular the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan.

Concerning humanitarian issues, Bayramov drew attention to the importance of clarifying the fate of almost 4,000 missing Azerbaijanis.

The ministers stressed that they attach great importance to the continuation of a direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Both ministers expressed their gratitude to the Georgian side for organizing the meeting in Tbilisi, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in conclusion.

The fact that the ministers are really set for dialogue is evidenced by their strong handshake, recorded in the photo.

Before the ministerial meeting, President Ilham Aliyev, at a meeting following the results of the first half of 2022 of the political and economic life of Azerbaijan, expressed the hope that this first bilateral ministerial meeting would have positive consequences.

“I think that the Armenian side will form its own working group as a good result of this meeting,” he said, noting that the Azerbaijani side has already formed its own working group.

Aliyev expressed his indignation at Armenia's failure to fulfill its obligation to withdraw its troops from the territory of Azerbaijan after the signing of the peace agreement on November 10, 2020.

He also once again spoke out against discussing the status of the Armenian-populated territory of Karabakh, making it clear that he did not intend to change the structure of the unitary state he leads.

With a certain degree of caution, we can talk about the start of the implementation of Aliyev's initiative of the Armenian-Azerbaijani dialogue in the context of the South Caucasus format.

A month ago, speaking at the Ninth Global Baku Forum, Aliyev proposed to use a compromise trilateral format of cooperation - Azerbaijan-Armenia-Georgia to consolidate sustainable peace in the South Caucasus region. It is intermediate between the Platform Six initiative (was put forward by Erdogan after the end of the second Karabakh war. It included six countries - the South Caucasian Azerbaijan-Armenia-Georgia and neighboring Iran-Turkey-Russia) and the Five format (was put forward by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili , and included Azerbaijan-Armenia-Georgia and EU-US). The first format did not suit Armenia because of the presence of Turkey in it, and the second format did not suit Georgia because of the presence of Russia.

At that time, according to Aliyev, Armenia refused the proposed meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the South Caucasus countries: “Our position is clear, and the position of the Georgian government is clear that we must start dialogue and contacts. But, of course, without Armenia it will be impossible.”

Today, as we see, the first step has been taken. But it will be more difficult to promote it without the positive and constructive blessing of the international players mentioned in the 3+3 and 2+3 formats.

Reaction to the meeting of the Foreign Minister in Tbilisi

Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Seyyed Abbas Mousavi wrote on his Twitter page: "Iran supports any process/initiative that leads to lasting peace, stability and security in the region. Bilateral negotiations and intra-regional dialogues (3 + 3 Mechanism / Iran-Russia -Turkey+Azerbaijan-Armenia-Georgia) are best suited for long-term stability and cooperation in the South Caucasus."

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken noted on his Twitter account that Jeyhun Bayramov and Ararat Mirzoyan "took a positive step today by meeting in Tbilisi ... Direct dialogue is the surest way to resolve the Azerbaijani-Armenian differences."

“Russia is silent”, this is how Moscow's attitude to the meeting in Tbilisi can be expressed by reversing the last remark of the boyar Masalsky from Pushkin's gloomy tragedy of the Time of Troubles “Boris Godunov”.



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