Azerbaijan, Armenia agree to continue border parleys

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DM Monitoring

BRUSSELS: A trilateral meeting between Armenian, Azerbaijani and EU leaders in Brussels ended with an agreement to continue negotiations on border demarcation and security in July or August.
European Council President Charles Michel held bilateral talks with both Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan before the trilateral meeting at which border issues was discussed.
Michel hailed they had “frank and productive” discussions on the situation in the South Caucasus and the development of EU relations with both countries as well as the broader region.
“The leaders agreed to advance discussions on the future peace treaty governing inter-state relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Michel said in a statement after the meeting, adding that foreign ministers will meet “in the coming weeks.”
Last month, Armenia and Azerbaijan had agreed to peace talks to address tensions over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which borders both nations, the office of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said.
Pashinyan’s office released a statement after he held talks in Brussels with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in April. The two men had also agreed that by the end of April they would set up a bilateral commission to delimit the joint border, the statement said.
“The Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Azerbaijan instructed their foreign ministers to begin preparations for peace talks between the two countries,” the statement said. European Council President Charles Michel also attended the Brussels meeting.
Pashinyan’s office also said the two sides agreed to create “a bilateral commission on the delimitation of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which will also be authorized to deal with questions of ensuring security and stability along the border.” It did not give details.
Both Russia and the United States had expressed concern about recent developments in the dispute.
Russia brokered a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan after the two nations fought in and around Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. Peacekeeping forces sent by Moscow have since been deployed to the disputed territory.
Last year, Azerbaijan had captured an area of Nagorno-Karabakh policed by Russian peacekeepers and has been accused by Armenia of violating the ceasefire agreement.
Yerevan said it expected Russia to take action to make Azerbaijan withdraw troops from the area, which Baku said was its sovereign territory.