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Armenia-Azerbaijan Relations: Current Standoff, Regress in Talks, and Unmet Obligations

Armenia-Azerbaijan Relations: Current Standoff, Regress in Talks, and Unmet Obligations

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan addressed the current state of affairs between Armenia and Azerbaijan, revealing that there is currently no arrangement for a new meeting between the leaders of the two countries. Mirzoyan acknowledged existing direct communication at both high levels and "on the ground," citing examples such as the transfer of proposals and the arrangement for the transfer of 32 Armenian captives.

However, despite initial positive trends, Mirzoyan expressed concerns about recent statements from Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, noting a complete regress in positions, including border delimitation, the use of new borders, and maps. The risk of regional tension escalation is considered real, as Aliyev's territorial demands and statements pose challenges to previously reached agreements.

Throughout 2023, Armenian government engaged constructively in negotiations with Azerbaijan to normalize relations. Mirzoyan highlighted key elements of the peace process, including the signing of a peace treaty, border delimitation, and the lifting of the transport and economic blockade in the region. He emphasized the importance of recognizing each other's territorial integrity and conducting border delimitation based on the official maps of the USSR.

Despite previous agreements on using maps from 1974 to 1990, Mirzoyan noted a regress in Azerbaijan's position. The FM highlights the principles outlined in the Almaty declaration and subsequent meetings, emphasizing the need for unblocking communication channels based on sovereignty, jurisdiction, and reciprocity.

Addressing the issue of a "corridor," Mirzoyan clarified that Armenia has not undertaken any obligations regarding a corridor, rejecting the "corridor logic" in the matter. He expressed Armenia's readiness for the unblocking of communications in the region, emphasizing equality and sovereignty principles. Mirzoyan criticized Azerbaijani President Aliyev's demands, stating they violate Armenia's sovereignty, while expressing Armenia's commitment to fulfilling its obligations as outlined in the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020.

As tensions persist and negotiations face challenges, we are watching closely to see how Armenia navigates its way to lasting peace.


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