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Azerbaijan and Armenia Agree on Relationship Normalization and Prisoner Exchange

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Photo: Azerbaijan and Armenia Agree on Relationship Normalization and Prisoner Exchange. Source: neweasterneurope.eu
Photo: Azerbaijan and Armenia Agree on Relationship Normalization and Prisoner Exchange. Source: neweasterneurope.eu

The governments of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan announced today a further normalization of relations, establishment of peace, exchange of prisoners, and continued negotiations for a peace agreement. This was stated in a joint statement from the office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.


"This is a historic opportunity to achieve long-awaited peace in the region. Both states affirm their intention to regulate relations based on respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity and to reach a peaceful agreement," the statement said.


Yerevan decided to withdraw its bid to host the next United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP29) in favour of Baku, and called on other countries in the Eastern European region to support Azerbaijan. As a gesture of goodwill and humanitarian considerations, Azerbaijan will release 32 Armenian military personnel, while Armenia will release two Azerbaijani individuals.


In response to these actions, Azerbaijan supports Armenia's candidacy for membership in the Bureau of the Eastern European Group of COP.


"The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan will continue discussions on implementing additional confidence-building measures, to be carried out in the near future, and call on the international community to support their efforts, which will contribute to building mutual trust between the two countries and positively impact the entire South Caucasus region," the joint statement noted.


It is worth recalling that after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has persisted for decades, with the two countries fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, predominantly populated by Armenians and internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.


Despite years of mediation by Russia, the European Union, and the United States, a peaceful agreement has not been reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 


On September 19, 2023, the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan announced the start of an anti-terrorism operation to "restore constitutional order" in Karabakh, following intense shelling of Azerbaijani army positions by Armenian forces located within Azerbaijan's territory, where a Russian "peacekeeping contingent" was temporarily stationed.


The Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan emphasized that, like any other country in the world, Azerbaijan has the right to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in accordance with international law. 


As a result of a one-day military operation, Azerbaijan regained control over Nagorno-Karabakh, leading to the departure of over 100,000 ethnic Armenians from the region, who returned to Armenia.

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