A trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan has started in Dushanbe, TASS reported.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the beginning of the meeting thanked his colleagues from Azerbaijan and Armenia Jayhun Bayramov and Ararat Mirzoyan for responding to the Russian side's proposal to "take advantage of the participation of the CIS Ministerial Council to hold a three-way meeting, which will allow continuing joint work on monitoring the implementation of trilateral statements," which were previously adopted at the highest level.
"We are interested in turning the South Caucasus into a zone of peace, sustainable development and prosperity," the Russian diplomat said, adding that increasing confidence between the sides while creating conditions for a full normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations is important for Moscow. "I expect that today's meeting will make it possible to advance along the path that was outlined by our leaders," Lavrov noted.
Armenian Foreign Minister Mirzoyan said at the beginning of the ministerial meeting that Yerevan has been and remains committed to the implementation of all agreements and statements between the leaders of the three countries. "We are ready to continue all works on the existing formats: on opening of communications of economic infrastructures in the region, and on the peace treaty or, as it is probably more correct to call it, the treaty on normalization of relations, establishment of relations, and on solution of all remaining problems, including humanitarian, release of prisoners of war and other problems, which remain unresolved," he said.
For his part, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Bayramov said in his opening remarks that the meeting "is a good opportunity to discuss the progress that can be made." "I know that contacts between colleagues continue. And we believe that there is a good prospect, a good opportunity to achieve results and achieve the implementation of trilateral statements in full," he said. "We have had quite intensive contacts lately in terms of launching the process of delimitation of the state border. I think that there are good developments, understanding in terms of the composition and representation of the parties in the commission on delimitation, and I also believe that in the near future it will be possible, at least, to launch the process. Bayramov noted that for its part Baku is "ready to begin work on the peace treaty" and that the meeting of the ministers and preservation of contacts between the sides "will have a positive impact on the continuation of the discussion on this subject."
Lavrov had previously held separate meetings with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts.