MOSCOW, May 25. /TASS/. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev believes that following Armenia's recognition of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, the issue of negotiating a peace treaty will be that much easier.
"I think that after the recent statements of the Armenian leadership on the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, as well as the recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan with the use of specific figures for the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, the issue of agreeing on other items of the peace treaty will be much easier," he said at the opening of talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
According to Aliyev, the lack of such recognition was the main factor keeping the sides from reaching an agreement.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik on May 17 that Armenia recognizes Azerbaijan's sovereignty within its borders of 86,600 square kilometers, which includes Nagorno-Karabakh, adding that the settlement should be reached via dialogue. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the breakup of the Soviet Union, but which was primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Renewed clashes erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the document, Azerbaijan and Armenia maintained the positions that they had held, while a number of districts were handed over to Baku and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the line of contact and the Lachin Corridor. Later, the three countries’ leaders adopted several more joint statements on the situation in the region. Last year, Azerbaijan and Armenia began peace treaty talks.