Germany hosts the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan for peace talks

Annalena Baerbock and Ararat Mirzoyan shake hands, with flags behind them
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, left, welcomes Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan in Berlin on Wednesday.
(Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press)

Germany sought to move forward talks on a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Wednesday, welcoming the two countries’ foreign ministers to Berlin.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock hosted her counterparts, Armenia’s Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijan’s Jeyhun Bayramov, at a secluded government villa for what was billed as two days of talks.

The latest talks followed a meeting on Feb. 17 between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. Scholz underlined Germany’s willingness to help conclude peace talks, along with that of European Council President Charles Michel.


“We believe that Armenia and Azerbaijan now have an opportunity to achieve an enduring peace after years of painful conflict,” Baerbock, who visited both countries in November, said before the three-way meeting. “What we’re seeing now are courageous steps by both countries to put the past behind and to work toward a durable peace for their people.”

Armenia finds itself amid one of the worst political crises in its decades of independence following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Oct. 2, 2023

Armenia and Azerbaijan have a long history of land disputes. The most recent border skirmish left at least four Armenian soldiers dead in mid-February.

Azerbaijan waged a lightning military campaign last year to reclaim the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Armenian separatists call Artsakh and had ruled for three decades.

The region and large swaths of surrounding territory came under full control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia at the end of a separatist war in 1994.

Azerbaijan regained parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and most of the surrounding territory in a six-week war in 2020 that ended with a Russian-brokered truce. In December 2022, Azerbaijan started blockading the road linking the region with Armenia, causing food and fuel shortages.

Israel has quietly helped fuel Azerbaijan’s campaign to recapture Nagorno-Karabakh, supplying powerful weapons to the country.

Oct. 6, 2023

It then launched a blitz in September 2023 that routed the separatist forces in one day and forced them to lay down arms. More than 100,000 ethnic Armenians fled the region, leaving it nearly deserted.


With political momentum from the successful military operation, Aliyev won another term in a snap election on Feb. 7.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have pledged to work toward a peace treaty, but no visible progress has been made, and tensions have continued to soar amid mutual distrust.

“Direct dialogue like today and tomorrow is the best way to make further progress,” Baerbock said.