Two regional conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia took one step closer to reaching a settlement Thursday as warplanes from both countries flew kindling talks and agreed to observe a ceasefire, Armenian and Azerbaijani officials announced.
“The first flight of its kind between the two air forces was demonstrated successfully,” Armenia’s Defense Ministry announced. “The pilots from both countries will meet again in the coming days to observe the observed ceasefire.”
Both parties have long accused each other of using military force to cover up territorial disputes that still fester. Armenia, which has been at war with Azerbaijan since 1991, occupied the Azeri-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh region and an adjacent area in 1992, sparking a bloody four-year war. In 2008, Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a ceasefire agreement, but Azerbaijan does not recognize the agreement.
Armenia and Azerbaijan became international pariahs a year ago, when the United States and the European Union became involved in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In July 2017, a mysterious man flew a light plane near the Turkey-Armenia border, sparking fears of a new conflict. But in October, both countries signed cease-fire agreements.