Armenia and Azerbaijan Move Towards Normalizing Relations After Agreeing on Nagorno-Karabakh's Territorial Integrity
|Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held a trilateral meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 25, 2023. (AFP/ILYA PITALEV)|
In a significant development, Armenia and Azerbaijan have taken steps towards normalizing their relations by mutually recognizing each other's territorial integrity. The leaders of these long-standing rival nations revealed this breakthrough on Thursday, May 25, 2023, during their talks in Moscow, Russia.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had separate meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin before engaging in joint negotiations on Thursday evening. These discussions followed recent deadly border clashes between the two Caucasus neighbors.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a conflict for decades over the control of the predominantly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh region within Azerbaijan.
"There is a possibility of achieving a peaceful agreement, given that Armenia officially recognizes Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan," stated Aliyev ahead of the talks. He further emphasized that Azerbaijan does not have any territorial claims over Armenia, as reported by AFP. Similarly, Pashinyan stated that both countries have made significant progress in normalizing relations following the mutual recognition of territorial integrity. He expressed that Yerevan is prepared to lift all transportation blockades passing through Armenian territory.
Meanwhile, Putin conveyed that despite the remaining difficulties and challenges, the situation is progressing towards a resolution of the Karabakh conflict. He mentioned that the Deputy Prime Ministers of the three countries would meet in Moscow within a week to address the remaining issues regarding the reopening of transportation networks between Azerbaijan and Armenia.