Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoian (left) and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ceyhun Bayramov (composite file photo)
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoian and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov have agreed on the structure of a commission on the delimitation of the border between the two South Caucasus countries amid simmering tensions over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
On April 25, the ministers also discussed ways for the commission to meet and talked about security issues in areas close to the border as well as matters related to preparations for a peace treaty after a six-week war between the neighbors in 2020.
Earlier this month, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian agreed to start drafting a bilateral peace treaty to resolve the conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh and set up a joint commission on demarcating their common border during talks in Brussels hosted by European Council President Charles Michel.
Baku wants the peace deal to be based on five elements, including a mutual recognition of each other’s territorial integrity. Pashinian has publicly stated that the elements are acceptable to Yerevan in principle, fueling Armenian opposition claims that he is ready to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Baku regained control of parts of the breakaway region in the 2020 war, as well as seven adjacent districts that had been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since the end of a separatist war in 1994. Some 2,000 Russian troops have been deployed to monitor the current cease-fire.
Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been under ethnic Armenian control for nearly three decades, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
On April 24, Azerbaijan's State Border Guard Service said its troops prevented the illegal entry of an Armenian saboteur group into Azerbaijani territory.
Baku accused Yerevan of what it called "an attempt to disrupt" ongoing efforts to conclude a peace treaty.
Armenia's Defense Ministry said in a statement late on April 24 that it had launched an investigation into the appearance of one of its soldiers on the Azerbaijani side of the border.