EU Says Armenia and Azerbaijan Preparing for Peace Talks

The European Council on Thursday said that Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to launch a “concrete process” for peace talks as the two sides continue to fight over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

European Council President, Charles Michel said that Armenia Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met in Brussels on Wednesday and they made “a lot of progress.”

In a press briefing in Brussels after meeting Pashinyan and Aliyev for five hours, Michel said that both the leaders agreed to get preparations for a possible “peace treaty”.

“Both sides agreed to set up a joint committee and to maintain a channel of communication,” according to Michel, who did not underestimate the challenges but said to work to resolve them.

“We don’t underestimate the challenges, but we are working very hard to make progress,” Michel told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Armenian Foreign Ministry in a statement said that the two leaders “ordered foreign ministers to begin preparatory work for peace talks between the two countries.”

“An agreement was reached during the meeting to set up a bilateral commission on the issues of delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijan border, which will be in charge of ensuring security and stability along the frontier,” the ministry added.

In 2020, both the countries engaged in intensive clashes that lasted for 44-days over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh which claimed more than 6,500 lives before it ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement.

Relations between the two former Soviet countries have been tense since 1991 as both sides claim Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, as part of their land.

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