Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, left, with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan in 2019

Pashinyan Hopes for Peace Deal With Azerbaijan ‘In Coming Months’

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YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says Yerevan and Baku are working on a peace deal that could be signed “in the coming months.”

Speaking on October 26 at a forum in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, with the prime ministers of Azerbaijan and Georgia in attendance, Pashinyan said the agreement would include the mutual recognition of each other’s territorial integrity and border delimitation talks on the basis of the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration.

“We are currently working on a draft peace and relations settlement agreement with Azerbaijan, and I hope this process will be successfully completed in the coming months,” Pashinyan said.

“We hope to sign a peace and relations agreement with Azerbaijan in the coming months based on these principles,” he added.

Baku and Yerevan were locked in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh for decades. Armenian-backed separatists seized the mainly ethnic Armenian-populated region from Azerbaijan during a war in the early 1990s that killed some 30,000 people.

Diplomatic efforts to settle the conflict brought little progress and the two sides fought another war in 2020 that lasted six weeks and left more than 2,000 soldiers dead on each side before a Russian-brokered cease-fire, resulting in Armenia losing control over parts of the region and seven adjacent districts.

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Azerbaijan then staged a lightning offensive in September to regain control of Nagorno-Karabakh, triggering the flight of more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians — virtually the entire population — to Armenia.

Armenia describes their flight as ethnic cleansing driven by the threat of violence, but Azerbaijan says the Armenian civilians left voluntarily even though they were welcome to stay in Nagorno-Karabakh and be integrated into Azerbaijani society.

Pashinyan reaffirmed Armenia’s readiness to open, reopen, reconstruct, and build regional communications.

“I hope that in the near future there will be developments in the direction of opening the border between Armenia and Turkey for citizens of third countries and holders of diplomatic passports, which will also bring a positive impulse to the entire region,” Pashinyan said in Tbilisi.

 

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