YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 23, ARMENPRESS. There is no tangible progress in the border delimitation and demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, opening of regional connections and the future peace treaty because Azerbaijan is using all those topics for territorial claims against Armenia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in his speech at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
“For example – one of the most important subjects of peace treaty is bilateral recognition of territorial integrity between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We have already declared that we are ready to do so, but Azerbaijan hasn’t done it so far. On the contrary, Azerbaijan has been publicly voicing that the entire South and East of Armenia and even the capital city of Yerevan, is an Azerbaijani land. On the other hand, Azerbaijan is keeping under occupation tangible territories of Armenia, and as I said the risk of new aggression by Azerbaijan remains very high.
In this regard I’m posing an official and public question to the Azerbaijani president. Could you show the map of Armenia, that you recognize or are ready to recognize as the Republic of Armenia? Why I’m asking this. Because it can come out that from the point of view of official Azerbaijan only half of Armenia and even less - is the Republic of Armenia. If Azerbaijan would recognize territorial integrity of Armenia, not theoretically, but concretely, I mean the integrity of our internationally recognized territory of 29.800 square kilometers, it would mean that we can sign peace treaty by mutually recognizing each other’s territorial integrity. Otherwise, we would have a phantom peace treaty and after that Azerbaijan will use border delimitation process for new territorial claims and occupation.
As you may know bilateral commission of border delimitation and border security was formed in May and two meetings of the commission have taken place. Before the formation of the commission, last year Azerbaijan occupied more than 40 square kilometer territories of Armenia. And then, one of the excuses of Azerbaijan about the reasons they have done this - was that Armenia, according to them, refuses to form border delimitation commission. Of course we didn’t refuse to do that but only insisted that simultaneously a mechanism of border security should be established.
In the end, according to our international partners’ request, who argued that the border commission work itself will be a reliable factor for border security, we agreed to start the work. And now that border delimitation and security commission has been formed and is working, Azerbaijan initiated a new phase of aggression. And some of those international partners are silent. But what is now the explanation for aggression of Azerbaijan. You know, if someone has excess of aggressiveness the reason always will be there. As it is said in a movie it is always possible to find a reason. For example, why they killed prince Hamlet. Who killed, how, when and why – it doesn’t matter. The reality is that Azerbaijan is trying and will continue to use delimitation process for territorial claims against Armenia.
Another such a topic is the opening of regional transport communication links. Azerbaijan is trying to represent Armenia as a destructive side in this discussion. The reality is, that Armenia is ready to open its roads for Azerbaijan in the framework of our national legislation. Moreover, recently the draft decision of government was published, that supposes to open three check points in the border with Azerbaijan for implementation of the article 9 of the trilateral statement from November 9, 2020. According to that draft, citizens and goods of Azerbaijan would be eligible to use the existing roads of Armenia to commute from main Azerbaijan to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The Armenian government had political will to unilaterally accept that decision. But Azerbaijani officials tell us, that they don’t want to have those routes. What do they want? They want a new route to be constructed. It is also acceptable for Armenia, but according to the 9th article of the trilateral statement from November 9, 2020, a new route can be constructed with the consent of the sides. Armenia is ready to construct such a route which would operate according to the legislation and within sovereign control of the Republic of Armenia.
So what is the point of Azerbaijani claims? Azerbaijan is hinting that Armenia has to provide an extraterritorial corridor and according to them the 9th article of the trilateral statement from November 9, 2020 is supposed to do that. The trilateral statement is a public document and in the 9th article there is nothing about corridor, extraterritoriality etc. So what is the purpose of Azerbaijan? To create a new crisis as a pretext for a new aggression against Armenia and for a new territorial claim.
We have shared packages of proposals with Azerbaijan on the topic of opening communications, and if Azerbaijan accepts that those routes must operate according to national legislations, we can decide on this very quickly.
By the way, the trilateral statements from November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021 imply that not only Armenia should provide roads to Azerbaijan, but Azerbaijan should provide roads to Armenia too. And we haven’t received anything so far either.
As for the corridor wording, it is very important to note that in the trilateral statement from November 9, only one corridor is mentioned, and it is the Lachin corridor for Nagorno-Karabakh,” Pashinyan said in his speech.