Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan called on Azerbaijan to withdraw its troops from Armenia’s sovereign territory during a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Jeyhun Bayramov, which was hosted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New York on Monday.
“The use of force or the threat of force are unacceptable, and international mechanisms must be introduced to prevent further escalations,” Mirzoyan said, highlighting the importance of immediate resolution of humanitarian issues, including the repatriation of prisoners of war, Armenia’s foreign ministry reported.
It was the first time that two top diplomats of Armenia and Azerbaijan were meeting since the latter’s armed forces launched a large-scale attack on Armenia’s sovereign territory. Since the attack, Blinken has pinned the blame for the attack on Azerbaijan and urged that country’s president, Ilham Aliyev, to pull his troops out of Armenia.
Bilnken initiated Monday’s meeting, which took place on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
While no agreements were reached at the meeting, Blinken urged the sides to meet again and resolve issue through dialogue and diplomacy.
“We’re encouraged by the fact that the fighting has ceased and there have not been any additional military actions over the last – the last few days. In my latest calls with both Prime Minister Pashinyan and President Aliyev, both leaders told me that they are ready for peace,” Blinken said in a statement after the meeting.
“Strong, sustained diplomatic engagement is the best path for everyone. There is no military solution to the differences between Armenia and Azerbaijan. But there is, I think, a path to a durable peace that resolves the differences through diplomacy,” Blinken added.
“The United States is prepared to do whatever it can to support these efforts. And I’m grateful to both of my colleagues for being here today to pursue this conversation,” Blinken said.
In a separate statement, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Bilnken “encouraged the sides to meet again before the end of the month.”
The situation in the South Caucasus also was a topic of discussion when Blinken met with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday.
“Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu discussed tensions in the South Caucasus, and the Secretary noted that the United States continues to engage to facilitate dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia and help achieve a long-term political settlement to the conflict,” Blinken’s office said in a statement.