Karabakh Tensions

In a summit in Brussels on Sunday, the presidents of arch-foes Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to “advance discussions” on Karabakh Peace Deal for the unstable area, which saw a war break out in 2020, according to the European Council’s president.

The Nagorno-Karabakh territory, which is predominantly Christian Armenian and is located in Muslim-majority Azerbaijan, has been the subject of a decades-long border feud between the neighboring ex-Soviet Caucasus neighbors.

In 2020, growing tensions erupted into all-out war, killing almost 6,500 people in only six weeks until a Russian-brokered peace saw Armenia relinquish large parts of the territory it had ruled for decades.

In recent weeks, protests have erupted in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, against President Pashinyan‘s handling of the crisis, as he began peace negotiations with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev last month.

Karabakh Peace Deal Is In The Talks

According to European Council President Charles Michel, the two leaders held a “frank and fruitful” EU-mediated Karabakh Peace Deal in Brussels on Sunday. The process will begin in “the next weeks,” he said, adding that he had highlighted to the two presidents the need to “address the rights and safety of the ethnic Armenian community in Karabakh.”

In the coming days, there will be a “conference of the Boundary Commissions” to discuss Karabakh Peace Deal, including border delimitation and “how best to guarantee a stable situation.”

The leaders also agreed that transportation linkages should be opened up. According to a statement from his office, Pashinyan discussed “preparations for the negotiating process on normalization of ties between the two nations, humanitarian concerns, and the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.”

The president “expressed his wish that the process of forging the peace deal between the two nations be hastened,” according to Aliyev’s office.

According to Michel, another EU-arranged meeting with Aliyev and Pashinyan is scheduled for July or August.