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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev Reveals Contentious Demand in Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Treaty Negotiations


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev Reveals Contentious Demand in Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Treaty Negotiations

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan disclosed a contentious point in the ongoing peace treaty negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan during an interview with Azerbaijani media. Aliyev emphasized the demand for an extraterritorial corridor, insisting that Azerbaijan should have the right to pass through Armenia without any checkpoints for people or goods. The Azerbaijani President reiterated his stance that Armenia must open a corridor to Azerbaijan's Nakhijevan exclave, warning of consequences if this route is not established.


Aliyev stated, "Otherwise, Armenia will remain at a dead end forever." He made it clear that if the mentioned route is not opened, Azerbaijan will not consider opening the border with Armenia elsewhere, emphasizing that "people and goods should pass from Azerbaijan to Azerbaijan without any checks."


The demand for the so-called "Zangezur corridor" faced opposition not only from Armenia but also from Iran. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi reiterated Tehran's objection to the corridor during a meeting with an Azerbaijani official in October. Azerbaijan initially signaled a shift away from the corridor, indicating plans to pursue transportation agreements with Iran. However, Aliyev's top foreign policy adviser, Hikmet Hajiyev, recently backtracked on this statement.


Azerbaijan renewed its insistence on the corridor after officials from both countries reported progress in bilateral peace treaty negotiations. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan expressed concerns about "regression" in the latest Azerbaijani proposals, emphasizing Baku's reluctance to explicitly recognize Armenia's borders through the peace deal.


Aliyev further rejected Yerevan's call for international "guarantors" to oversee compliance with the treaty, stating, "We don't need guarantors," in response to Armenia's insistence on external oversight in the peace agreement. The negotiations continue with both sides grappling with complex issues and divergent positions on key aspects of the proposed treaty.

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