On 14 December, thePresident of the European Council, Charles Michel, hosted the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, for a discussion on the evolving situation in the South Caucasus and ways forward regarding EU relations with both countries.
President Michel commended steps taken by both leaders to ensure de-escalation, in particular, the establishment of a direct communication link between the Ministers of Defence of both countries, facilitated by Michel.
The President of the European Council also welcomed the recent release of ten Armenian detainees by Azerbaijan and the handover of all remaining mine-maps by Armenia, and called for the full and speedy resolution of all outstanding humanitarian issues.
President Aliyev and Prime Minister Pashinyan agreed that in the context of the planned launch of negotiations on the delimitation and demarcation of the state border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, further tangible steps will need to be taken to reduce tensions on the ground. Michel said the EU would make available an expert mission/consultative group to support the border delimitation and demarcation issues by providing technical assistance to both countries.
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