BAKU, September 28. /TASS/. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated that he would be ready to hold a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan if it is arranged by the OSCE Minsk Group.
"In my experience as president, I never had a telephone conversation with any leader of Armenia. So, probably it’s not the right way to do it. But if the Minsk Group co-chairs suggest such a meeting, of course we will not be against it," he said in an interview with France 24 TV on Tuesday.
According to Aliyev, following the end of the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, the leaders of both countries had an opportunity to communicate directly only once - during the trilateral negotiations organized by Russian President Vladimir Putin in January in Moscow. "The aim of this meeting was to plan the postwar development. We didn’t have another chance to see each other: probably, because of the pandemic, probably, because of some other reasons," he stressed.
President Aliyev pointed out that Azerbaijan had never objected to high-level contacts either before or during the military confrontation. "We think that this communication may answer many questions which both sides may have," he concluded.
Intense clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, in Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in the conflict zone, which facilitated a complete cessation of hostilities. According to the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides maintained the positions that they had held, while several regions came under Baku’s control and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the contact line and the Lachin Corridor.