Prime Minister (PM) of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. Photo/president.az
MOSCOW – Yerevan and Baku are ready to end the 30-year dispute over Nagorno Karabakh. Armenian Prime Minister (PM) Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made the announcement Thursday in Moscow, Russia.
During a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Council, which was hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two leaders confirmed they were ready to normalize relations on the basis of “mutual recognition of territorial integrity,” according to Aliyev and Pashinyan.
Putin said he was “very pleased” that the two former Soviet republics appeared to have reached an agreement, “including transport communications.”
This seems to refer to Azerbaijan’s access to the Nakhichevan region, which lies between Armenia and Turkey.
Pashinyan agreed the two countries “made good progress in finalizing our relations” on the basis of mutual recognition, but objected to Aliyev’s use of the phrase “Zangerzur corridor”, saying this could be seen as a claim on Armenian territory.
“The November 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire speaks only of one corridor, Lachin, which needs to come under the control of Russian peacekeepers but unfortunately has been illegally blocked by Azerbaijan,” said Pashinyan.
He added, “However, I want to ensure Armenia’s readiness to unblock all transport and economic connections and roads passing through Armenian territory.”
“The word ‘corridor’ is not encroachment on one’s territory,” Aliyev replied, insisting one must “try very hard or have a very rich imagination” to interpret his expression as territorial aspirations, which Azerbaijan lacks.
“The fact that Armenia officially recognizes Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan is a great opportunity to reach a peace agreement,” he said.