European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to “advance negotiations” on a peace treaty for the unstable area that saw a war break out in 2020.
There has been a decades-long conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh area, which is located in Azerbaijan’s Muslim-majority Azerbaijani region and is inhabited by mainly Christian Armenians.
In 2020, simmering tensions erupted into a full-scale war that claimed the lives of almost 6,500 people in only six weeks before Armenia was forced to abandon the land it had ruled for decades thanks to a Russian-mediated truce.
Since President Nikol Pashinyan began peace negotiations with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev last month, protests have taken place in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan.
European Council President Charles Michel said Sunday that the two leaders had a “frank and fruitful” EU-mediated talk in Brussels.
A future peace treaty governing Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s interstate ties was agreed to by both the leaders, according to Michel, in a statement.
He said that he had highlighted to the two presidents that “it was vital that the rights and security of the ethnic Armenian community in Karabakh be addressed” and that the process will get underway “in the coming weeks”.
In the near future, there will be a “conference of the Boundary Commissions” to discuss border delineation and “how best to guarantee a stable situation.”
In addition, the leaders decided that transportation routes needed to be reopened
According to a statement released by Pashinyan’s office, he discussed “preparations for the negotiating process on normalisation of ties between the two nations, humanitarian concerns, and the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.”
“Expressed his hope that the process of drawing up a peace accord between the two nations will be expedited,” Aliyev’s office stated. Aliyev Michel indicated that a second EU-arranged meeting between Aliyev and Pashinyan will take place in July or August.