Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Thursday that the peace process with Armenia has been accelerated and that the working groups came together and suggested that they work on the preparation of the text of the peace agreement for a few days.
Aliyev made statements to the Azerbaijani press after the meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, French President Emmanuel Macron, and European Council President Charles Michel in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, where he came for the European Political Community Summit (EPC).
Stating that he hopes they are gradually approaching peace, Aliyev said that he appreciated the work of EU Council President Michel in this situation.
Expressing that they held trilateral meetings in Brussels several times and each time they got closer to peace, Aliyev said, "Important issues were discussed in the meeting, and I think this meeting will be important in terms of reaching a peace agreement. Negotiations with Armenia are still ongoing. Now the peace process has been accelerated. "
Emphasizing that the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia held their first meetings and that the meetings should not be interrupted, Aliyev said, "The ministers will meet for the second time soon. We suggested that the working groups of the two countries come together and work on the preparation of the peace agreement text for a few days. This is our intention."
Earlier Thursday, Armenian Prime Minister Pashinian emphasized that the main agenda in the meetings at the EPC is peace.
In addition, Turkish, Armenian, and Azerbaijani leaders met informally at the European summit on Thursday, marking the first top-level talks between Türkiye and Armenia since they launched a bid to mend ties late last year after decades of animosity.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Pashinian and Aliyev ahead of the Prague summit, publishing a photo of them sitting with others at a small table.
Later, Erdoğan spoke to press members on Thursday evening after the EPC meetings and talked about his meetings with the state leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Türkiye has no preconditions for full normalization, he underlined and said that Ankara expects Yerevan and Baku to resolve their problems and reach a peace agreement.
Ankara wants to warm the relations between Türkiye, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, and solve problems between the sides, he said.
Erdoğan said the two countries' foreign ministers and special representatives will gather and will take the step to a further level.
"We want to warm up relations between Türkiye-Armenia-Azerbaijan as soon as possible and solve this issue," he added.
Erdoğan told Pashinian that Türkiye has no preconditions for this, adding: "As soon as you make a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, we will have no problem."
Moscow brokered a peace deal last November to end six weeks of fighting over the territory, during which more than 6,600 people were killed. The truce allowed Azerbaijan to reclaim control over large parts of Karabakh and surrounding areas that the Armenia-backed separatists controlled.