Azerbaijan’s president on Thursday reaffirmed his country’s willingness to secure a peace deal with Armenia.
Ilham Aliyev said he was hoping for productive discussions with his Armenian counterpart Nikol Pashinyan in their upcoming April 6 meeting in Brussels, which is being organized by European Council President Charles Michel.
“The conflict has already been resolved … now it’s time to normalize relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” Aliyev said during a reception for Zbigniew Rau, Poland’s foreign minister and the chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
“We have been receiving messages from Armenian officials. I was recently told that one of the messages is that they consider our proposals acceptable.”
Peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia will ensure prosperity and stability in the South Caucasus and the wider region, he added.
Rau also expressed hope for speedy normalization of ties between Baku and Yerevan, adding that Azerbaijan has now become one of the main transport and logistics hubs in the region.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
As new clashes erupted in September 2020, a 44-day conflict saw Azerbaijan liberate several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.
The fighting ended in November 2020 with a deal brokered by Russia that saw Armenia cede chunks of territory it had occupied for decades.
In January 2021, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia agreed to develop economic ties and infrastructure for the benefit of the entire region.