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Azerbaijan and Armenia agree on prisoner exchange and discuss 'normalizing relations'

Azerbaijan and Armenia agree on prisoner exchange and discuss 'normalizing relations'

The authorities of Azerbaijan and Armenia have announced further steps towards the normalization of relations and the establishment of peace, according to a joint statement of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

It is reported that the offices of the Armenian Prime Minister and the Azerbaijani President agree that "a historical chance to achieve a long-awaited peace in the region" and express the intention to reach a peaceful agreement "on the basis of respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity."

As "a sign of good gesture" and humanitarian considerations, Azerbaijan has agreed to release 32 Armenian servicemen, and in turn, Armenia has released two Azerbaijani servicemen.

Additionally, Yerevan has decided to withdraw its bid to host the next United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP29) in favor of Baku and has called on other countries in the Eastern European region to support Azerbaijan.

In response, Azerbaijan has supported 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 their discussions regarding the implementation of more confidence building measures, effective in the near future and call on the international community to support their efforts that will contribute to building mutual trust between two countries and will positively impact the entire South Caucasus region," the statement says.

Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

Recall that on September 19 of this year, Azerbaijan announced the beginning of "anti-terrorism measures of a local nature" in Nagorno-Karabakh. The operation of the Azerbaijani army began in the region.

Armenia refused to move its army to the region. The head of the Armenian government recognized the area of Azerbaijan as 86.6 thousand square kilometers, including Nagorno-Karabakh.

However, a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan has not yet been concluded.

From January 1, 2024, the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic with its capital in Hovk (Stepanakert) officially ceases to exist.

Azerbaijan regained control of the region 32 years after the declaration of "independence" by Karabakh.

More details on the issue can be found in the material by RBC-Ukraine.