Written by CNN Staff Writer
The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan said Thursday they had agreed to cease military activity across their border in a move to try to foster a lasting peace in the volatile South Caucasus region.
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian told journalists in Moscow, “I would like to announce to you … that we took the decision” during talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elkhan Alasgarov at the Iran-NATO Council to halt “active shooting” across the border from Azerbaijan.
“I thank my Azerbaijani colleague in this regard,” he said.
Alasgarov said the two nations were “ensuring the fight against terrorism, separatism and armed conflicts” and had agreed to bring their armed forces “even closer.”
“We would like to fight against every sort of terrorism, especially terrorism of a violent kind, fanaticism, extremism and xenophobia,” he said.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Alasgarov said there was no territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan and they could not hold dialogue over a frontier region controlled by Azerbaijan.
“We are both sovereign countries … but we have different positions,” he said.
The presidents of both countries have previously expressed their desire to establish a “single state border” across the disputed territory.
The South Caucasus is home to an array of ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians of Armenian, Greek, Armenian Orthodox and Azerbaijani extraction and ethnic Turks of Turkish origin.
The mountainous region saw a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the early 1990s that cost around 30,000 lives.