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Azerbaijani, Armenian leaders meet at EU summit

The first meeting of the new European Political Community (EPC) brought together leaders who would not usually want to be seen together.

Nor have those of Azerbaijan and Armenia after a recent outbreak of deadly violence between the two countries.

But Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke alongside Emmanuel Macron and Charles Michel, who heads the European Council, a body that brings together the leaders of EU countries.

Armenia has agreed to “facilitate an EU civilian mission along the border with Azerbaijan”, according to a joint statement issued Friday morning.

Azerbaijan “has agreed to cooperate with this mission as far as it is concerned,” the statement added.

Last month, Armenia and Azerbaijan brokered a ceasefire to end a flare-up in fighting that has killed 155 soldiers on both sides.

The ex-Soviet countries are locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994.

The inaugural meeting of the EPC brought together Thursday in Prague, the Czech capital, 44 countries, including the 27 members of the European Union, as well as countries currently at different stages of joining the bloc: Albania, Moldova , the Republic of North Macedonia. , Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Other participants included: Georgia, Kosovo, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, United Kingdom, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

euronews Gt

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