Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said on Saturday that he is ready to hold peace talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, according to Trend News Agency.
"Our position remains unchanged, since the war ended, we want to establish normal relations with Armenia based on a mutual recognition of territorial integrity of both countries. We are ready to start immediately the process of delimitation of our borders. And, of course, after that process is ended-demarcation. We also express willingness to start to work together with Armenia on the future peace agreement," İlham Aliyev told the Spanish EFE news agency, adding that Armenia has not yet given a positive response to proposed talks despite Azerbaijan's efforts.
"I am ready to talk to Mr. Pashinyan any time when he is ready," Aliyev said.
Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and some 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.
Prior to this, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory was under illegal occupation.
The fighting ended with a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10, 2020, with the cease-fire seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia.
Two months later, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia signed a pact to develop economic ties and infrastructure to benefit the entire region. It also included the establishment of a trilateral working group on Karabakh.