The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan are scheduled to meet on Thursday, October 5, in the Spanish city of Granada, to discuss and potentially finalize a peace treaty after the recent escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev will attend a meeting of the European Political Community, a regional organization that promotes dialogue and cooperation among European countries.
The meeting comes after Azerbaijan recaptured the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh last month, following a one-day military offensive that ended the 35-year-old dispute over the territory. The Azerbaijani victory triggered a mass exodus of ethnic Armenians from the region, who fled to neighboring Armenia. According to the World Health Organization, more than 100,000 people have been displaced by the conflict.
The UN has sent a mission to Nagorno-Karabakh for the first time in about 30 years, mainly to assess the humanitarian needs of the affected population. The mission, led by a senior UN aid official, arrived in the region on Sunday.
Azerbaijan and Turkey, a close ally of Aliyev, are now pushing for a transport corridor across southern Armenia to link the Azeri exclave of Naxcivan, which borders Turkey, with Baku to develop a new trade route.
The peace talks in Spain are seen as a rare opportunity to end the historic enmity between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but was populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians since a war in the 1990s.