Armenia, Azerbaijan leaders to hold EU-mediated talks

Armenia, Azerbaijan leaders to hold EU-mediated talks
Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders are to meet in Brussels for talks, following a recent round of fighting in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which killed three.
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The contested Nagorno-Karabakh region recently witnessed an outbreak of violence [Getty]

The leaders of ex-Soviet rivals Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to meet in Brussels next Wednesday for EU-mediated talks, Armenia's government said. 

The meeting comes after a recent outbreak of fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh left at least three dead. 

"Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev will meet in Brussels on August 31," the press service of the Armenian government told AFP

European Council chief Charles Michel will be present at the meeting.

Arch enemies Armenia and Azerbaijan fought two wars -- in 2020 and in the 1990s -- over Azerbaijan's Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Six weeks of fighting in the autumn of 2020 claimed more than 6,500 lives and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement.

Armenia was forced to cede swathes of territory it had controlled for decades, and Russia deployed some 2,000 peacekeepers to oversee the fragile truce, but tensions persist despite the ceasefire agreement.

In early August, new tensions flared as Azerbaijan said it had lost a soldier and the Karabakh army said two of its troops had been killed and more than a dozen injured.