Azerbaijan has released eight Armenian prisoners in an effort to facilitate new talks with France and the European Union on the border conflict between the two countries, said French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel.
"The release by Azerbaijan and reparation to Armenia of 8 Armenian detainees is another sign of positive developments following the meeting with @EmmanuelMacron, @azpresident and @NikolPashinyan," wrote Michel on Twitter.
"The EU supports stability and prosperity in the region," added Michel.
Macron added that France had sent over a plane to pick up the released Armenian prisoners.
"Thanks to our diplomats as well as our soldiers who were mobilised for this operation," wrote Macron on Twitter.
Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, with the Armenian army attacking civilians and Azerbaijani forces, and violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and villages that were occupied by Armenia. A Russian-brokered agreement ended the fighting on Nov. 10, 2020.
During the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Ankara supported Azerbaijan and accused Yerevan of occupying Azerbaijani territories.
Despite the recent conflict, there have been efforts between regional actors to boost cooperation in the region.