Washington To Host Karabakh Peace Talks Next Week

Washington D.C./29.04.23/Turan: Washington is getting ready to host the next round of Karabakh talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia next week, in a bid to bridge their divides and reach a road map for peace, TURAN's U.S. correspondent was informed by diplomatic sources.

The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Jeyhun Bayramov and Ararat Mirzoyan, are expected to be in the U.S. capital as early as on Monday, May 1, at the invitation of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

No further details have been determined yet, the source said, adding however, the meeting between the foreign ministers might "last several days."

The State Department did not offer any comment when asked by reporters on Friday. However, Vedant Patel, the Department's principal deputy spokesperson, told a daily press briefing that Washington "continues to be deeply engaged" in finding a durable peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. "It is something that Secretary Blinken is deeply committed to as well as Senior Coordinator [Louis] Bono and Acting Assistant Secretary [Dereck] Hogan.

When opportunity has provided itself, Secretary Blinken has directly engaged with these two countries and will continue to do so..." Blinken has already held talks with both foreign ministers (last Nov in Washington), as well as the leaders of both countries (In Feb, on the margins of the Munich Security Conference).

The upcoming ministerial meeting, however, comes just days after the French Foreign Minister held separate talks in Baku and Yerevan to try to broker a settlement to a longstanding conflict. If Washington talks succeed in developing a road map for peace, Europe will "finish the job" by hosting the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia for a peace treaty "within weeks", the sources say.

Alex Raufoglu

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