Of Peace and Claims

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Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to set up a border commission this week, a move aimed at ending a decades-long dispute over the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, Al Jazeera reported Tuesday.

The move followed a meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels, aimed at creating a peace deal to resolve the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region located inside Azerbaijan.

Turkish state media also reported that Aliyev and Pashinyan agreed to open the Zangezur corridor which would allow Azerbaijan to access its Nakhchivan exclave. The Azerbaijani leader intends to build motorways and rail lines through the corridor that would link Turkey with Russia via Azerbaijan.

In 2020, the two countries fought over the breakaway territory that had been under ethnic Armenian rule since the 1990s but is now recognized as part of Azerbaijan by the international community. Armenia lost control of sections of Nagorno-Karabakh when the conflict concluded with a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

European Council President Charles Michel said after the meeting that both parties had agreed to advance discussions on a future peace treaty.

Meanwhile, Pashinyan has been facing waves of mass protests in recent weeks after he said the international community wanted Armenia to “lower the bar” on ethnic Armenian claims to Nagorno-Karabakh. Many Armenians have accused Pashinyan of ceding too much territory to Azerbaijan.

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