Thursday, June 13, 2024

Armenian PM says Yerevan ready to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan

Yerevan is prepared to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as part of neighboring Azerbaijan if the authorities in Baku guarantee the safety and rights of the local population, which predominantly consists of ethnic Armenians, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Pashinyan noted that the entire territory of Azerbaijan is 86,600 sq km, including the area in question – “at the same time, we say that the issue of the rights and safety of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh should be discussed” in future negotiations.

“If we and Azerbaijan understand each other correctly, Armenia will recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within the named limits, while Baku will recognize the territorial integrity of Armenia within the area of 29,800 sq km,” he added.

The two former Soviet republics have been locked in a conflict over the disputed region with a total population of around 150,000 for several decades. As the Soviet Union was collapsing, in 1988, Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan, unilaterally establishing its own republic three years later. This triggered a major war, which claimed the lives of thousands of people and ended in an internationally mediated truce in 1994.

Since then, however, Armenia and Azerbaijan have engaged in sporadic fighting over the area. One of the latest clashes took place in 2020; the tensions were diffused by Moscow’s efforts to mediate.

Pashinyan’s statement comes after he stated in April that Yerevan and Baku could sign a peace treaty if they both recognize one another’s territorial integrity “without any ambiguity and pitfalls,” while agreeing not to have any territorial disputes in the future.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also said on Monday that the signing of a peace treaty between Baku and Yerevan is inevitable.

“We think that the signing of a peace treaty is inevitable and are trying to make constructive efforts to achieve this goal. Naturally, this peace treaty should embrace international norms and principles,” he stated after talks with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gitanas Nauseda in Vilnius.

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