OSCE hails Azerbaijani-Armenian leaders Brussels meeting
The OSCE has welcomed the meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Brussels on May 22, Azernews reports, citing Trend news agency.
"Direct dialogue is a necessary condition for the normalization of relations and the preparation of a comprehensive peace agreement. We remain ready to contribute to efforts to ensure peace and prosperity in the South Caucasus," the organization said.
As OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries Russia, the U.S., and France had been mediating a peaceful solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts resulted in no progress as Armenia refused to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874, and 884) demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of its troops from Azerbaijani territories, which was the main obstacle to the resolution of the conflict.
The third Brussels meeting took place between the leaders at the initiative of President of the European Council Charles Michel. The sides focused on the situation in the South Caucasus and the development of EU relations with both countries as well as the broader region.
“The discussion was frank and productive. We reviewed the entire set of issues. We had a detailed discussion on humanitarian issues, including demining, and efforts to free detainees and address the fate of missing persons,” Michel said in a press conference following the meeting.
According to him, the first joint meeting of the Border Commissions will take place on the inter-state border in the coming days. It will address all questions related to the delimitation of the border and how best to ensure a stable situation.
The leaders agreed that unblocking transportation linkages should be prioritized. They agreed on the rules controlling transit between western Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, as well as between other sections of Armenia via Azerbaijan, and international transportation using both nations' communications infrastructure. The sides specifically agreed on border management, security, and land fees, as well as customs in the context of international transportation. In the upcoming days, the Deputy Prime Ministers will continue this effort.
The leaders decided to go on with discussions on a future peace treaty to regulate Armenian-Azerbaijani ties. In the following weeks, teams led by foreign ministers will move this process ahead.
“In addition to this track, I also stressed to both leaders that it was necessary that the rights and security of the ethnic Armenian population in Karabakh be addressed,” Michel underlined.
According to him, the EU will continue the work of the Economic Advisory Group with both parties in order to achieve economic growth for the benefit of both countries and their citizens.
“I also stressed the importance of preparing the populations for long-term sustainable peace. The EU is ready to step up its support. We agreed to remain in close contact and will meet again in the same format by July/August,” Michel added.
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