The authorities of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic have welcomed the meeting held in Vienna on Tuesday between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. A statement by the entity's Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
"The resumption of high-level meetings between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan after a long break is important from the perspective of the intensification of the peaceful settlement process of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Karabakh and maintaining peace and stability in the region.
"We believe that the meeting proves that there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement and serves to ensure its irreversibility.
"At the same time, we consider it necessary to note that real progress in the settlement process could only be reached by taking into consideration the existing realities and with the restoration of full-format negotiations with direct and immediate participation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in all its stages,"
In the meantime international reaction to the meeting remained positive. A spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy said in a statement,
"The High Representative welcomes the meeting between President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev held in Vienna on 19 November and commends the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and their efforts in facilitating the resumption of top level meetings.
The Presidents' agreement to advance negotiations and meet again in the months ahead is encouraging. The European Union is ready to engage in renewed efforts towards political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and to further contribute to peace-building efforts, in support of and in full complementarity with the OSCE Minsk Group."
Image: The flag of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
Mammadov has been part of Azerbaijan's ruling circle for a long time. He has headed the Foreign Relations Department of the Presidential Administration since 1997 and was appointed Assistant to the President for Foreign Affairs in 2017. He was also the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration.
Demonstrations and street protests in Armenia gathered momentum on Friday (20 April) with protestors blocking traffic in large parts of the capital Yerevan, before gathering for an evening rally in the centre of the city, an event which observers say attracted up to 50,000 people.