December 11, 2023 - 12:35 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Pope Francis has expressed his joy at a statement on the release of Armenian and Azerbaijani prisoners, Vatican News reports.
In his remarks following the Angelus on Sunday, December 10, the Holy Father said he looks with great hope on the positive sign between Armenia and Azerbaijan, for peace in the South Caucasus.
He also encouraged both nations, with their leaders, to conclude a peace treaty “as soon as possible.”
In the statement published on December 7, Armenia and Azerbaijan said “there is a “historical chance” to achieve a long-awaited peace in the region and reconfirmed their intention to normalize relations and reach a peace treaty on the basis of respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
According to the document, Azerbaijan will release 32 Armenian servicemen, while Armenia will release 2 Azerbaijani soldiers – one of whom was charged with murder after he killed an employee of the Zangezur Copper Molybdenum Combine.
“As a sign of good gesture, the Republic of Armenia supports the bid of the Republic of Azerbaijan to host the 29th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP29) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, by withdrawing its own candidacy. The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan do hope that the other countries within the Eastern European Group will also support Azerbaijan’s bid to host. As a sign of good gesture, the Republic of Azerbaijan supports the Armenian candidature for Eastern European Group COP Bureau membership,” the statement went on to say.
“The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan will continue their discussions regarding the implementation of more confidence building measures, effective in the near future and call on the international community to support their efforts that will contribute to building mutual trust between two countries and will positively impact the entire South Caucasus region.