YEREVAN — There are no obstacles for Armenia to start the process of delimitation and demarcation of the border with Azerbaijan, Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan told journalists on Thursday.
“We announced that we are ready to start the process of delimitation and demarcation. We are waiting for a positive impulse from Azerbaijan,” he said.
“We are also ready to start discussing concrete issues considered within the framework of the trilateral working group co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan,” he stated.
“One of the approaches is that the armed forces of both Armenia and Azerbaijan withdraw from the line of contact and allow troops of the two countries to be re-deployed in the area before we can start the delimitation and demarcation process,” the Secretary said.
When asked whether the demand that Azerbaijan withdraw its troops from Armenia could be a precondition for the start of the process, Grigoryan said he could not say why Azerbaijan did not yet begin the process of demarcation and delimitation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that his country can play a key role in helping Armenia and Azerbaijan to solve the problem of their borders. Speaking at a meeting of the Valdai discussion club in Sochi Putin said the problem could be solved only by Armenia, Azerbaijan with participation of Russia. He also said that Russia has the maps kept at the General Staff of the Russian army, which show how the borders between former Soviet Union republics ran.
Speaking on normalizing relations with Turkey, Grigoryan said Armenia is discussing with Russia on ways to move forward with this process.
“We have repeatedly stated that we are ready to start discussing … the normalization of relations with Turkey,” Grigoryan told reporters. “We are also discussing this with our Russian partners, [talking] about how we can move forward in this process.”
“I think it’s best to start that work because both we and the Turkish side have pointed out that there are positive signals and we can start the normalization of relations,” he said.
Russia voiced support for a Turkish-Armenian rapprochement in early September, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that Moscow is “ready to assist in that in the most active way.” Lavrov cited in that regard Russian-mediated efforts to establish transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan after last year’s war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Turkey has since continued to make the establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of the border between the two countries conditional on a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acceptable to Azerbaijan.
“If Armenia demonstrates a sincere will to normalize its relations with Azerbaijan then there will be no obstacles to normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this week.