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Armenia, Azerbaijan Agree to Improve Bilateral Relations

Armenia and Azerbaijan have reached an agreement on taking confidence-building steps by releasing prisoners of war following their first-ever direct negotiations with no mediators involved, according to a joint statement released by the two countries on Thursday.

“The two countries reconfirm their intention to normalize relations and to reach a peace treaty on the basis of respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said the statement, released by the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan and the Office of the Armenian Prime Minister.

Under the agreement, Azerbaijan will release 32 Armenian servicemen while Armenia will free two Azerbaijani soldiers.

Additionally, Armenia pledges to support Azerbaijan’s bid to host the 29th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP29) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by withdrawing its own candidacy, and Azerbaijan supports the Armenian candidature for Eastern European Group COP Bureau membership.

Armenia and Azerbaijan will continue their discussions regarding the implementation of more confidence building measures, and call on the international community to support their efforts that will contribute to building mutual trust between the two countries, the statement said.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, since 1988. Peace talks have been going on since 1994 when a ceasefire was agreed on, despite sporadic clashes since then. 

Xinhua

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