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Lavrov In Armenia After Talks In Azerbaijan On Karabakh, Bilateral Ties


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) shakes hands with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev ahead of a meeting in Baku on November 19.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived in the Armenian capital of Yerevan as part of a regional tour that included talks in neighboring Azerbaijan.

The visits are timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the two ex-Soviet republics, which have been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region for even longer.

The visits are timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the two ex-Soviet republics, which have been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region for even longer.

Lavrov is expected to meet with President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, with efforts to settle the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh high on the agenda.

Nalbandian said last week that Lavrov's visit, which will end on November 21, will provide an opportunity to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and bilateral cooperation.

"There is a truly broad range of issues thanks to our strategic, friendly relations," he told reporters on November 17. "We will spare no effort in developing and deepen our ties."

Lavrov flew in to Armenia from Azerbaijan, where he hailed the level of cooperation between Moscow and Baku as he met with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov, and President Ilham Aliyev.

Russia's top diplomat reportedly reiterated Russia’s interest in helping “find a solution and ensure progress toward the settlement” of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during his meeting with Aliyev on November 19.

Aliyev said that his country is "very interested” in resolving the conflict.

Aliyev also hailed the "high level" of bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and Russia and expressed confidence that cooperation will strengthen in the future.

In remarks during talks with Mammadyarov in the Azerbaijani capital, Lavrov said that friendly diplomatic relations between the two countries "plays a great role in providing security" in the South Caucasus and the Caspian regions.

He also said that the joint Russian-Azerbaijani commission on military-technical cooperation will hold its next session in December.

Nagorno-Karabakh, populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, declared independence from Azerbaijan amid a 1988-94 war that claimed an estimated 30,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Internationally mediated negotiations with the involvement of the OSCE's so-called Minsk Group have failed to result in a resolution. The Minsk Group is co-chaired by France, Russia, and the United States.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax
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