Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers to discuss Karabakh in Bratislava

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YEREVAN, December 2. /ARKA/. Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said today that he and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov will discuss a package, which includes very important issues related directly to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, and also some issues related to the atmosphere in which the peace talks are being held.

Mnatsakanyan and Mammadyarov are set to have another meeting on December 4 in Bratislava, Slovakia, on the sidelines of the 26th OSCE Ministerial Conference.

“All of these issues are very important,” Mnatsakanyan said on Monday during a joint press briefing with visiting Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. Mnatsakanyan said Armenia’s priorities in the negotiations are known: they are security and the status of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.

On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year.

On April 2, 2016, Azerbaijan launched military assaults along the entire perimeter of its contact line with Nagorno-Karabakh. Four days later a cease-fire was reached. -0—

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