Armenia, Azeri Leaders Hold First One-on-One Meeting Since War
(Bloomberg) -- The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan held a one-on-one meeting Tuesday for the first time since their countries fought a war last year.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met privately on the sidelines of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels, European Council President Charles Michel told reporters in a briefing late Tuesday. Michel said he hosted the leaders before leaving them to talk alone.
The meeting came amid an uneasy truce brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin over a year ago to end a six-week war that killed thousands. Fighting has flared occasionally since, with at least eight troops killed in a clash along the border last month.
Aliyev’s office said the meeting was “constructive” and the sides agreed to set up an ad hoc group to work on border demarcation. Pashinyan said on Twitter they reaffirmed an agreement to reopen a rail link between the two countries.
A peace agreement hasn’t been signed to end the war, in which Azerbaijan reclaimed control of parts of the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding territory. The border between the neighbors hasn’t been agreed upon since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.