Baku, Azerbaijan, March 30
Negotiations held between Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Vienna, Austria, were held in a normal and constructive atmosphere, Hikmat Hajiyev, head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration told Trend.
“After quite a long period, for the first time, an official meeting was organized between Azerbaijan’s president and Armenian leadership with mediation of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. This gives ground to say and once again shows that the negotiation format remains unchanged and the negation process is conducted namely between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” said Hajiyev.
He recalled that on March 9, OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs issued a statement, especially stressing the unacceptability of changing the negotiation format.
“As we know, Armenia has such claims, and Azerbaijan has decisively objected to it,” noted Hajiyev.
Today’s negotiation process once again showed that talks on resolving the conflict are held between Armenia and Azerbaijan as the sides of the conflict, he added.
“In general, as for the format, I would like once again to mention that Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a one-on-one meeting and held talks lasting for more than two hours. The talks afterwards continued with participation of the co-chairs and foreign ministers of the two countries. In total, the talks lasted for more than three hours,” said Hajiyev.
He said that holding of the talks in this format gave a new impetus to the process related to resolving the conflict in general.
“As a result, a joint statement was issued by foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia and the co-chairs, that’s to say, in “3+2” format and this statement also says that a broad exchange of views was held on the main issues of the negotiation process and substantive points. At the same time, it stresses the necessity of creating appropriate and favorable conditions for promotion of peace process and importance of taking concrete and result-oriented steps in the negotiation process. As the statement says, as a result of the discussions held between Azerbaijan’s president and Armenian PM, the sides reached a common ground on holding another meeting at the level of foreign ministers and on holding talks on the issues of promoting the peace process,” said Hajiyev.
He noted that before this meeting at the level of leaders of the two countries, foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan have held four meetings, with the last one held in Paris in early 2019.
Hajiyev went on to add that the statement also touches upon the issues related to the ceasefire.
“In general, it should be taken into account that the process of strengthening the ceasefire is in parallel with the process of holding substantive talks and they should complement each other. In conclusion, I would like once again to note that the talks in Vienna were held in a normal and constructive atmosphere. Most importantly, the format of the negotiation process remains unchanged and participation of the Armenian side in this process once again clearly shows the unalterability of the format,” he concluded.