First official meeting between Armenian and Azeri Foreign Ministers

The meeting is a first step towards easing tension between the two countries and finding a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict · OSCE-supervised negotiations are likely to lead to a meeting between Heads of State in June.

Armenia and Azerbaijan could be closer to a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict after their respective Foreign Ministers met on Tuesday following months of tension and mutual accusations of violence in the border zone between the two countries.

According to Radio Free Euope, the Armenian and Azeri Foreign Ministers told the press that talks had been “constructive” and had repeated their “countries’ commitment to seeking a peaceful solution to the Karabakh conflict.” Although no details were given of an eventual agreement, the representatives consider “agreeing to continue talks” a success in itself and are hoping that dialogue will build confidence between the two countries.

The Armenian and Azeri Presidents could meet as early as June, at the suggestion of the Azeri Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov. Talks between the two Heads of State would be a major step forward since the new Armenian President, elected in February, is yet to formally meet his Azeri counterpart.

Nagorno Karabakh is an independent de facto republic within Azerbaijan but with a majority Armenian population. Although the republic has been self-governing for twenty years now, Azerbaijan continues to claim authority over the region. Relaunching dialogue between the two countries will hopefully reduce the risk of tension escalating in the region, a risk that was highlighted by the ICG back in January.

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