BAKU: Azerbaijan has released eight Armenian soldiers in an effort to facilitate new dialogue with France and the European Union on the border conflict between the two countries.
The soldiers were released on Monday after being detained on November 16, last year, according to Azerbaijan’s State Commission for Prisoners of War, Hostages, and Missing Persons.
The French presidential office said, the return came after mediation by France and the European Union and that the return was done by a French plane.
European Council President Michel showed his support of the “positive developments” on his official twitter account.
In return, it is expected that Armenia provides information about the Azerbaijani civilians and soldiers killed in the First Karabakh War and presumably buried in mass graves.
“Thanks to our diplomats as well as our soldiers who were mobilized for this operation,” wrote French President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter.
Armenia fought a six-week war in 2020 that ended with Azerbaijan regaining control of territory that had been occupied by Armenian forces for more than 25 years.
Sporadic clashes have broken out in the area since then; Azerbaijan said, some of the returned servicemen took part in November clashes that killed seven Azerbaijani and six Armenian soldiers.