Armenia PM: Signing peace deal with Azerbaijan possible by yearend

The signing of the peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan by the yearend is possible, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told a briefing, adding that his country is taking all necessary steps for it.

“The severe humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh obviously affects the peace process. We spend much time on closing the Lachin corridor [from Azerbaijan’s side] and the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said

This energy and time should be spent on addressing the peace deal. I always consider it possible to sign a peace deal by the end of the year as I have accepted an obligation to sign such an agreement. Yes, we believe the signing is possible by the end of the year,” the prime minister added.

The head of the Armenian cabinet stated that Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev do not plan to sign any document at a meeting in Granada in October.

“I would like very much to say yes, we expect the signing of a document in Granada, but no, unfortunately. Hopefully intense talks will continue and we will reach a solution to the problem,” he noted.

European Council President Charles Michel announced earlier that a meeting between Pashinyan and Aliyev is planned on the sidelines of the summit of the European Political Community in Spain’s Granada on October 5.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the breakup of the Soviet Union, but which was primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.

Renewed clashes erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Aliyev and Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the document, Azerbaijan and Armenia maintained the positions that they had held, while a number of districts were handed over to Baku and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the line of contact and the Lachin Corridor.

Later, the three countries’ leaders adopted several more joint statements on the situation in the region. Last year, Azerbaijan and Armenia began peace treaty talks, with the issue of demarcation of the common border line having become one of serious obstacles.

Pashinyan and Aliyev have had several personal meetings through the mediation of Russia and the EU.

The parties regularly report new proposals and commentaries on the draft peace deal being sent to each other, though shooting incidents on the border occasionally take place, in which Baku and Yerevan blame each other.

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