Azerbaijan and Armenia exchanged prisoners of war on their border today, a Reuters witness said, in a step towards normalizing relations between them.

The exchange was to include liberation from Azerbaijan 32 Armenians, most of whom were captured in late 2020. In return, Armenia handed over two Azeri soldiers held since late April 2023.

Earlier today, Russia’s TASS news agency reported that Armenia and Azerbaijan are also discussing withdrawing troops from their shared border, although no decision has yet been made.

The two neighboring South Caucasus countries have been involved in two wars recently 30 years regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region located in Azerbaijan but most of its inhabitants were Armenians.

Azerbaijan recaptured Karabakh in a lightning offensive in September, forcing more than 120,000 Armenians to flee to Armenia.

Announcing the planned prisoner exchange last week, the two sides said they “reaffirm their intention to normalize relations and reach a peace treaty based on respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The deal was welcomed by the European Union and the US, which have been trying for decades to get the two countries to sign a peace treaty to settle outstanding issues such as demarcating their borders.