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Armenia returns four villages to Azerbaijan

Armenia returns four villages to Azerbaijan

April 20, 2024 – 07:06

Armenia has agreed to return four border villages to Azerbaijan, Aykhan Hajizadeh, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, announced on Friday. According to the official, the four settlements were under Armenian control in the 1990s. The spokesman described the return of the villages as a long-awaited and historic event, MTI reported. The agreement was reached during the eighth round of discussions on the regions.

According to a statement by the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two countries have reached a preliminary agreement on settling their border dispute in four stages. Azerbaijan announced in early March that the return of the four villages was a necessary precondition for the peace agreement that would end the conflict between the two member states of the former Soviet Union, which has been going on for more than three decades. According to Reuters, the agreement on the ownership of the aforementioned settlements is the clearest indication so far that the two sides have made progress towards reconciliation.

Under the agreement, in addition to villages, larger areas were returned to Azerbaijan, which can cause problems in daily life and work. Before the agreement, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pasingan visited three villages in the region to discuss the implications of the agreement with local residents.

Last fall, Azerbaijan regained control of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been disputed since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 – until then mostly Armenian, but internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan – with a blitzkrieg that lasted a day. From which almost the entire Armenian population fled after the attack. The village, which has now been returned by Armenia, had also been under Armenian control since 1991, while belonging to Azerbaijan.

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