September 24
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At the moment, the United States cannot specify a specific date when the next round of talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan will take place, the US State Department said in response to the VOA Armenian Service's inquiry regarding the postponement of the Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs’ talks scheduled in Washington next week.

In response to the VOA Armenian service's question, Olesya Vardanyan, Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for the South Caucasus Region, said that after several rounds of talks at different levels and in the capitals, the discussions have entered a decisive period, when important decisions must be made about the important parts of the future peace agreement; in particular, regarding the future of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the delimitation of the Armenia-Azerbaijan.

According to the analyst, Azerbaijan's request to postpone the aforesaid talks probably indicates that Azerbaijan has not yet decided on these important issues. Now, it is very important to continue the talks with all parties. We hope Washington will continue to do that with its European partners, Vardanyan emphasized.

Speaking to the VOA Armenian Service, Heather Ashby, the Acting Program officer for the Center for Russia and Europe at the US Institute of Peace, stressed the active involvement of the US and the EU in the settlement of the matter. In her written response, Ashby emphasizes that after the collapse of the OSCE Minsk Group and, in particular, Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine, it is extremely important for peace talks to have credible and active mediators who can bring high-ranking officials of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the negotiating table to discuss sensitive issues..

According to Ashby, the attention will be focused on two main domains in the next phase of the peace talks mediated by the US. The first is the status of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan and the latter’s plans to provide security guarantees to Karabakh Armenians. As per Ashby, this will help to create trust in the talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The other domain, according to the analyst, is the discussions on the transport corridor connecting Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan. Russia and Iran both have interests in this corridor and will try to influence Armenia and Azerbaijan to ensure that this transport route does not conflict with their interests in the region. This transport corridor is more important for Russia, she claims.

According to the analyst, the talks can be considered successful if the parties agree to continue the meetings at a high level, better understand each other's positions, and make progress on difficult issues during the discussions.

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