Armenia’s PM to meet Azerbaijan’s president in Russia: Reports

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Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced Wednesday he would travel to Russia next week for a summit with President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian news agencies reported.

“There is an invitation from the Russian President to hold a tripartite meeting in Sochi on October 31. I have confirmed my participation,” Pashinyan was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying to Armenian lawmakers.

He added that he did not know if Baku had also confirmed the meeting.

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Pashinyan said the three leaders will discuss the issues around “stability and security” in the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan.

The Kremlin earlier on Wednesday confirmed that a summit would take place, but did not give a date.

“Preparations are taking place for such a tripartite meeting, it will take place, but we will inform you later of the place and the date,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Earlier this month, Putin invited Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev to a new joint meeting in Russia.

The arch-foes last met in Brussels in August for talks under the mediation of EU chief Charles Michel.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars for control of Nagorno-Karabakh over the past three decades.

The second war, a six-week conflict in autumn 2020 claimed the lives of more than 6,500 troops from both sides and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

Under the deal, Armenia ceded swathes of territory it had controlled for decades, and Moscow deployed about 2,000 Russian peacekeepers to oversee the fragile truce.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, ethnic Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan. The ensuing conflict claimed around 30,000 lives.

In September, over 280 people were killed in fresh clashes on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

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