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Russian Foreign Minister Convenes Talks with Azerbaijani and Armenian Counterparts

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosted his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov and his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in Moscow on Friday to discuss a roadmap for normalizing relations between the two neighboring countries.

Opening the meeting, Lavrov said that he expects his interlocutors to inform him of the steps that Russia needs to take to contribute to the implementation of the tripartite agreements that ended the Second Karabakh War.

“We met a long time ago and a lot of new issues emerged. I hope today’s meeting will be held in a constructive atmosphere and your direct dialogue will help achieve additional results,” he said.

Lavrov suggested focusing in the tripartite formula on the possibilities that Russia possesses that can be used to determine the steps for normalization between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“We are fully interested in stability and peace in this region (the South Caucasus), where Russian interests are directly concerned, and we will continue to implement solutions that will lead to stability,” he said.

Lavrov called on diplomats to address humanitarian issues, open transport links and economic relations, and agree on the text of a peace treaty in the future.

Prior to the meeting, the Minister held separate bilateral meetings with senior Armenian and Azerbaijani diplomats.

Lavrov proposed, together with the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Bayramov, to discuss issues related to arranging a presidential meeting.

For his part, Bayramov thanked Russia for preserving the memory of the Azerbaijani leader Heydar Aliyev and organizing activities to celebrate the centenary of his founding.

He also called on Lavrov to discuss the bilateral agenda, which is “always very intense” due to the close cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia.

In talks with Armenian Foreign Minister Mirzoyan, Lavrov urged solutions to three “main” issues – a peace treaty, opening contacts and border demarcation.

For his part, Mirzoyan said that Yerevan is committed to the tripartite agreements of the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.

However, he accused Baku of violating the agreement, and as such mentioned the establishment of a border checkpoint on the Lachin road.

Yerevan is increasingly frustrated by what it describes as Moscow’s failure to protect Armenia in the face of a military threat from Azerbaijan.

With Russia bogged down in Ukraine and unwilling to strain relations with Turkey, Azerbaijan’s main ally, the United States and the European Union have sought to steer the talks.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met Sunday in Brussels for a new round of talks hosted by European Council President Charles Michel.

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