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European Council chief, Azerbaijani president hold talks on situation in South Caucasus

European Council President Charles Michel on Saturday discussed the situation in the South Caucasus with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev over the phone.

“(I) continued discussions with President Aliyev on the situation in the South Caucasus region and the development of EU relations with Azerbaijan,” Michel said on Twitter.

On Friday, Michel had a call with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to discuss efforts for peace and stability in the region.

“A peaceful South Caucasus that benefits all people living in the region is our objective,” he said, following his conversation with Aliyev.

He also reassured that “the EU will remain engaged and support dialogue.”

As part of the ongoing process, Michel hosted a meeting between Aliyev and Pashinyan on April 6 in Brussels where the two sides expressed willingness to secure a peace agreement.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

After clashes erupted in September 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.

The fighting ended in November 2020 with a deal brokered by Russia.

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By Davies

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