ST. PETERSBURG (RFE/RL) — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan talked to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Thursday, December 6, at a summit of ex-Soviet states held in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, it emerged on Friday.
Pashinyan said that the conversation took place at a dinner hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin for fellow leaders from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Aliyev’s chief foreign policy aide, Hikmet Hajiyev, confirmed that, saying that the two men discussed “the continuation of active negotiations” on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He told the Trend news agency that recent weeks’ decrease in ceasefire violations in the conflict zone is creating a “good background” for making major progress towards a peaceful settlement.
Aliyev and Pashinyan, who came to power in May, spoke with each other for the first time at the previous CIS summit held in Tajikistan in September.
Pashinyan said he discussed with Aliyev in Saint Petersburg “previous episodes of the negotiation process” and a possible exchange of prisoners of war and other captives held by the two parties.
“We did not reach an agreement [on the exchange] but will continue discussions,” he told reporters. “As you know, they proposed an all-for-all formula but we have a problem with that. We also need to discuss that with the Karabakh authorities.”