(Reuters) – The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan will meet next week in Brussels, the European Union said on Monday, in the latest attempt to secure a lasting peace deal and resolve longstanding differences over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The May 14 meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev follows talks between their two foreign ministers that led US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to suggest that a breakthrough was possible.
An announcement on the EU Council website said a three-corner meeting with Council President Charles Michel would take place at EU headquarters.
Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet states, have fought two wars over 30 years centering on Nagorno-Karabakh, recognized as part of Azerbaijan but populated mainly by Armenians.
In a six-week conflict in 2020, which ended in a Russian-brokered truce, Azerbaijan regained territory lost in the first war dating to the collapse of Soviet rule. Border skirmishes periodically break out between the two sides.
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Pashinyan and Aliyev have held several rounds of talks, usually hosted by the EU or Russia, but have failed to resolve outstanding difficulties, including border demarcation and access to areas on each other’s territory.
The latest EU announcement said the two leaders will also meet on June 1 in Moldova during an EU-sponsored development meeting attended by President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany.
“The leaders also agreed to continue to meet trilaterally in Brussels as often as necessary to address ongoing developments on the ground and standing agenda items for the Brussels meetings,” the EU statement said.
(Reporting by Ron Popeski; Editing by Grant McCool)
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