Armenia, Azerbaijan agree to "advance discussions" on peace treaty
Armenia is advancing toward peace discussions with Azerbaijan after a heated war that took place in 2020.
The respective leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on Sunday to "advance discussions" regarding a peace treaty over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where a heated war broke out in 2020, according to the president of the European Council.
The Nagorno-Karabakh war claimed the lives of 6,500 people in six weeks before a truce, mediated by Russia, was agreed upon, leading to Yerevan ceding territory to Baku.
In recent weeks, protests have been ongoing in Yerevan, expressing repudiation of the Armenian president's decisions, and criticizing the way he has been handling the conflict. Last month, Nikol Pashinyan held peace talks with Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev.
According to the EU president, Charles Michel, Pashinyan and Aliyev had a "frank and productive" discussion during their Union-mediated meeting in Brussels. The two leaders also agreed that transportation links need to be unblocked.
"The leaders agreed to advance discussions on the future peace treaty governing inter-state relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan," Michel said in a statement.
The process will be in effect in "the coming weeks," according to Michel, stressing that "it was necessary that the rights and security of the ethnic Armenian population in Karabakh be addressed".
In the coming days, however, a meeting with the Border Commissions will be addressing issues regarding border delimitation, and "how best to ensure a stable situation."
There is mounting pressure in Armenia for the president to resign as the Armenian president works towards a "normalization of relations between the two countries," according to Pashinyan's office.
The president "expressed his hope that the process of drafting the peace agreement between the two countries would be accelerated".
According to Michel, another EU-arranged meeting between Aliyev and Pashinyan is set for July or August.