Azerbaijan says it is “on the verge of peace” with Armenia

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Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry stated about the possibility of signing a peace agreement with Armenia in the near future. This was stated by Azeri Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council. According to him, Azerbaijan is actively working to ensure lasting peace with Armenia. The Minister spoke about normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and voiced Baku’s position on the current stage of bilateral negotiations. “With the end of almost thirty years of armed conflict and with the commitments undertaken by the two countries for the first time since the restoration of their independence to respect each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders, they found themselves on the threshold of peace,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement. According to Bayramov, the talks held over the past few weeks in Washington, Brussels, Moscow and Chisinau “allowed to better understand the positions of the parties”. Earlier, the Secretary of the Armenian Security Council, Armen Grigoryan, said that a peace agreement with Azerbaijan could be concluded before the end of the year. Before that, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that there was no agreed draft agreement on peace with Azerbaijan that could be signed yet. The territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia concerns the territory of so-called Nagorno-Karabakh. It is part of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, although after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Armenians, who make up the majority there, declared it an independent state. In recent months, the Armenian prime minister has repeatedly made statements signaling his willingness to recognize Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh.