YEREVAN, June 12. /ARKA/. Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan told a press briefing today that a new meeting of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will not take place until the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
“At the moment, we must first of all wait for this stage to end and continue working at the level of foreign ministers. We need to return to the moment when we last met in late January,” Mnatsakanyan said.
Mnatsakanyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elma Mammadyarov last met face-to-face in Geneva, on January 29-30, 2020. The meeting was mediated by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America).
On February 15 of this year, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev took part in an open panel discussion on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
The OSCE Minsk Group said in April that Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Elmar Mammadyarov, and the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group held frequent consultations remotely since mid-March, including a joint video conference on 21 April. Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, also participated in these consultations.
During the consultations, the participants discussed the impact of the global health crisis on the region and recent developments on the ground. They also considered next steps in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process in line with their joint statement issued in Geneva on 30 January 2020.
It was acknowledged that, due to the extraordinary situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of previously agreed humanitarian measures was postponed. The face-to-face Ministerial meetings and the visits of the Co-Chairs to the region agreed upon in Geneva have also been postponed. Nevertheless, the necessary work to prepare these activities continues.
The Co-Chairs underlined the importance of observing the ceasefire strictly and refraining from provocative actions in the current environment and called on the sides to take measures to reduce tensions further.