Peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan are set to continue beyond the upcoming meeting in Chișinău on June 1, organized within the framework of the European Political Community. The signing of a peace treaty is not on the agenda for the meeting, as clarified by the Foreign Ministry of Armenia in response to statements made by the Azerbaijani Ambassador to France, Leyla Abdullayeva.
The Status of Peace Talks
Amidst ongoing tensions and sporadic conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan, efforts to establish peace and improve interstate relations have been underway. Discussions surrounding the agreement “On establishment of peace and interstate relations” are in progress, with the Armenian side expressing readiness to sign the agreement once key issues are addressed. It is expected that these discussions will continue during and after the meeting in Chișinău on June 1, organized within the framework of the European Political Community.
Clarification on the Chișinău Meeting
The Foreign Ministry of Armenia has confirmed that the signing of a peace treaty is not included in the agenda of the meeting in Chișinău. Responding to the statement made by Azerbaijani Ambassador Leyla Abdullayeva, the Armenian authorities emphasize that the focus of the meeting will be on the settlement of relations between the two countries and the resolution of key issues. The discussions will contribute to the ongoing peace process, but a peace agreement is not expected to be signed during the summit.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh has a long and complex history. The region, predominantly populated by ethnic Armenians, declared independence from Azerbaijan in the late 1980s, leading to a full-scale war between the two nations. The conflict resulted in thousands of casualties and displaced numerous people from their homes.
Over the years, several attempts have been made to find a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Ceasefires were established, but they were often short-lived, with sporadic escalations of violence occurring periodically. The most recent major escalation took place in 2020, leading to a six-week war that resulted in significant casualties and displacement.
Since the signing of a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement in November 2020, efforts to negotiate a lasting peace have been ongoing. The Minsk Group, co-chaired by France, Russia, and the United States, has been actively involved in facilitating talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan. However, reaching a comprehensive and mutually acceptable agreement has proven to be challenging due to the deep-rooted animosity and unresolved issues.
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The upcoming meeting in Chișinău, organized within the framework of the European Political Community, holds significance as a platform for continued dialogue and negotiation. While the signing of a peace treaty is not part of the meeting’s agenda, it presents an opportunity for both sides to engage in constructive discussions, address key concerns, and explore potential pathways to peace.
The Armenian side has reiterated its commitment to the peace process and emphasized the importance of resolving the fundamental issues before signing any agreement. They have made it clear that they will be ready to sign the agreement once these concerns are adequately addressed.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have both expressed their willingness to engage in dialogue and find a peaceful solution. The Chișinău meeting provides a platform for high-level engagement and exchange of ideas, which can contribute to building trust and understanding between the two nations.
(Read Also: Azerbaijan and Armenia on the Verge of Signing Historic Peace Treaty at European Summit)
It is crucial to recognize that achieving lasting peace requires not only political will but also addressing the socio-economic and humanitarian dimensions of the conflict. Reconciliation, reconstruction, and the safe return of displaced persons are essential aspects that need to be addressed for a sustainable peace process.
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