Secretary Blinken with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov Before Their Meeting

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  I want to thank my colleagues from Armenia and Azerbaijan for being here today.  I want to start by just offering our sincere condolences to the families and the friends of those who died or were wounded in the recent fighting last week.  We’re encouraged by the fact that the fighting has ceased and there have not been any additional military actions over the last – the last few days.

In my latest calls with both Prime Minister Pashinyan and President Aliyev, both leaders told me that they are ready for peace.  Strong, sustained diplomatic engagement is the best path for everyone.  There is no military solution to the differences between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  But there is, I think, a path to a durable peace that resolves the differences through diplomacy.  The United States is prepared to do whatever it can to support these efforts.  And I’m grateful to both of my colleagues for being here today to pursue this conversation.  Thank you very much.