Mon, 18 Oct 2021

New York [US], September 26 (ANI/Sputnik): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has held two separate meetings, with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, the United Nations informed.

"The Secretary-General met with Ararat Mirzoyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. The Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister discussed UN-Armenian cooperation. They also discussed the situation along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and efforts to promote regional cooperation and durable peace," the UN said on Saturday.

In a separate meeting with Bayramov, Guterres discussed UN-Azerbaijan cooperation, as well as the regional situation.

"The Secretary-General underlined the UN's support for the ongoing dialogue and peacebuilding efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan and reiterated the UN's readiness to provide further assistance, including in support of conflict-affected populations," the UN said.

The Secretary-General also commended Azerbaijan on its diplomatic efforts as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Earlier this week, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to discuss ways to restore trust and reduce tensions between Yerevan and Baku. The meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani ministers in New York was the first direct contact between the two countries at such a level since the end of the conflict in Karabakh, according to the French foreign ministry.

A conflict flared up in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in September 2020, marking the most serious escalation of a protracted standoff in years. In November, Moscow mediated an agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Under the deal, Baku and Yerevan agreed to completely ceasefire and exchange prisoners and bodies of the dead. In addition, the Kalbajar, Lachin, and part of the Agdam District were handed over to Azerbaijan.

The OSCE Minsk Group was set up in 1992 to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The group is co-chaired by France, Russia, and the United States. (ANI/Sputnik)

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