Armenia, Azerbaijan hold talks in efforts to ease tensions

Armenia agreed to “facilitate a civilian European Union mission alongside the border with Azerbaijan,” according to a joint statement released.

October 07, 2022 02:51 pm | Updated 02:51 pm IST - PRAGUE

European Council President Charles Michel attends the Informal EU 27 Summit, at Prague Castle, in Prague, Czech Republic, on October 7, 2022.

European Council President Charles Michel attends the Informal EU 27 Summit, at Prague Castle, in Prague, Czech Republic, on October 7, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia have held talks in Prague in efforts to ease tensions between the two longtime adversaries.

Armenia, Azerbaijan peace process in peril after clashes

Armenia agreed to “facilitate a civilian European Union (EU) mission alongside the border with Azerbaijan,” according to a joint statement released early on October 7, following a meeting on the margins of a European summit in the presence of the EU Council President Charles Michel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Azerbaijan “agreed to cooperate with this mission as far as it is concerned,” the statement said.

Last month, Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiated a cease-fire to end a flare-up of fighting that killed 155 soldiers from both sides.

“The EU mission will start in October for a maximum of two months, with the aim to “build confidence” and “contribute” to the border commissions that have been set earlier this year to address questions related to the delimitation of the border,” the statement said.

The ex-Soviet countries have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

Explained | The Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and the status of peace talks

The move comes after the leaders of historic foes Turkey and Armenia on Thursday held their first face-to-face meeting since the two countries agreed to improve relations.

The discussions have been held on the sidelines of a summit by the leaders of 44 countries to launch a “European Political Community” aimed at boosting security and economic prosperity across Europe.

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