Armenian and Azerbaijani Security chiefs meet ahead of leaders' meeting

The Director of the National Security Service of Armenia, Armen Abazyan, had a working meeting with the Director of the State Security Service of Azerbaijan, Ali Nagiev, on Saturday, Armenian media sources reported. The meeting was held  on the border between the two countries near the Ararat region of Armenia.

The Armenian State Security Service confirmed the meeting and said that issues related to the exchange of prisoners and the search for the missing persons were discussed.

The meeting comes ahead of a meeting between Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, and Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev due to be held at the initiative of Russian president Vladimir Putin early next week. The issue of prisoners and missing persons has become a sensitive political one in Armenia, with relatives of prisoners,  missing people, or those who's fate is unknown demanding information from the government.

The meeting between Aliyev and Pashinyan will be their first face to face encounter since the war between their two countries in the autumn. An agreement to end hostilities was signed on 10 November, but many details on issues of disengagement remain unsolved. Russia has deployed several thousand troops to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone since 10 November, but the situation remains tense.

source: with agencies

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