After a trilateral talk hosted by the Russian President in Sochi, on the anniversary of the Karabakh peace deal, Armenia Prime Minister and Azerbaijan President agreed on easing tension in the separatist region.

Iran PressEurope: In a rare meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev met for about three hours.

In remarks after the meeting, Putin said the three leaders "reached agreement on a whole range of issues," which he considers "key."

Both Aliyev and Pashinyan echoed Putin's optimistic assessment. The Azerbaijani president said the conversation was "open" and "genuine," and the Armenian prime minister called it "positive."

Putin also held two separate bilateral meetings with Aliyev and Pashinyan before and after the three-way talks.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a decades-old dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region that lies within Azerbaijan but was under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

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Azerbaijan gained control of a significant part of Nagorno-Karabakh and reclaimed all the regions controlled by Armenian forces outside the separatist region following a deadly flare-up of tensions last year.

The peace agreement was celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan but was seen as a betrayal by the opposition in Armenia. Pashinyan defended it as the only way to prevent the Armenian forces from losing control over the entire Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The 2020 deal envisaged a transport corridor via Armenia that would link Azerbaijan with its exclave of the Nakhchivan region. But the plan is resented by the Armenian opposition, which also fears that The planned demarcation of the border could compromise Armenian interests.

Putin, Aliyev, and Pashinyan agreed on the launch of specific projects to invest in the economic potential of Nagorno-Karabakh in the joint statement of leaders after talks in Sochi.

"The need for the soonest possible launch of specific projects for purposes of unlocking the economic potential of the region as soon as possible," the statement says.


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