Armenia, Azerbaijan agree to further collaborate on peace treaty work
Preparatory calls were made today in advance of tomorrow’s fourth Brussels meeting with foreign ministers of both countries.
EU Council President Charles Michel said on Wednesday that Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to step up efforts in advancing the conclusion of a peace treaty.
Michel held a trilateral meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Brussels.
"Today we agree to step up substantive work to advance on the peace treaty governing inter-state relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and tasked the Foreign Ministers to meet within one month to work on draft texts," the statement said.
The EU is determined to support the establishment of long-term sustainable peace in the South Caucasus and will continue to closely work with all parties on reaching this goal, Michel added.
The leaders agreed to meet in the same format again by the end of November.
Earlier this month, it was reported that new tensions erupted over Nagorno-Karabakh as three soldiers were killed and Azerbaijan said it had taken control of several strategic heights in the disputed region.
Russia sent 2,000 peacekeepers to monitor the truce, but tensions remain despite a ceasefire deal.
This new wave of violence triggered international pleas for an urgent de-escalation.
The conflict initially began with both parties accusing each other of starting an overnight shootout at their shared border.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated in mid-April that his administration planned to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan shortly, adding that the main aim of the discussions for Yerevan would no longer be to agree on the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan.
The accord was viewed as a national shame in Armenia, sparking weeks of anti-government rallies, and prompting Pashinyan to seek emergency parliamentary elections, which his Civil Contract party won in September.
Opposition parties have accused Pashinyan of preparing to hand up sections of Karabakh that are still under Armenian control to Baku after he told parliamentarians last month that the "international community calls on Armenia to scale down demands on Karabakh."
In May, Michel held a trilateral meeting with Pashinyan and Aliyev in Brussels, during which the leaders agreed to establish the commission on delimitation and security of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. On May 24, the first meeting of Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Shahin Mustafayev, took place at the Armenian-Azerbaijani interstate border in the format of a joint commission on border delimitation and security.
On July 16, both foreign ministers met for the first time since the war erupted. The Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Ararat Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov "discussed a wide range of issues related to normalizing relations between the two countries."
More is yet to unfold in the upcoming meeting that is scheduled tomorrow in the mediation of Charles Michel.