The European Union (EU) played a key role in facilitating negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as the leaders of both nations met in Brussels under the mediation of Charles Michel, the head of the EU Council.
In a statement issued after the meeting, Charles Michel expressed satisfaction with the negotiations, describing them as sincere, open, and result-oriented.
According to him, the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia were appreciative of each other’s efforts and discussed various issues on the agenda, particularly highlighting the need to maintain the momentum generated by recent positive negotiations in the United States toward the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement.
Among the key topics discussed were border delimitation and the restoration of transport and economic relations in the region. The leaders agreed to resume bilateral meetings on border issues and acknowledged their unconditional commitment to the 1991 Almaty Declaration, which upholds the respective territorial integrity of both countries. Delimitation of the border will be agreed upon through negotiations, while progress has been made regarding restoring the railway connection with and through Nakhchivan.
The statement also emphasized the expectation of the release of more prisoners in the coming weeks and discussions were held on addressing the fate of the missing and strengthening demining operations.
The rights and security of Armenians living in the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Province were also a subject of discussion. Charles Michel called on Azerbaijan to work with the international community in ensuring the rights and security of this population, urging the preparation of a positive agenda and the establishment of a transparent and constructive dialogue between Baku and the affected people.
The EU’s intention to assist Armenia and Azerbaijan in achieving a comprehensive peace agreement was reiterated in the statement, which emphasized the commitment to contribute to joint efforts.
The leaders agreed to hold as many meetings as necessary in Brussels, with the next one scheduled for July. Additionally, meetings with French President Macron and German Chancellor Scholz within the framework of the 2nd Summit of the European Political Union in Chisinau were announced, as well as an invitation to the leaders for the next meeting during the third ASB summit in Granada in October.
In a related development, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia had previously met in Washington from May 1 to May 4. Following these talks, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken commended the progress made by both sides in discussing complex issues toward a lasting peace agreement.
Looking ahead, the upcoming meeting between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow, scheduled for May 19, holds further significance. While Paruyr Hovhannisyan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, confirmed the date, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan has not yet released any information regarding the meeting.