YEREVAN — Any negotiations over a peace treaty with Azerbaijan must be held without preconditions, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan insisted on Tuesday.

In an interview with Armenia’s state-run Armenpress news agency Mirzoyan was asked to comment on the publication by Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry of five fundamental principles that Baku insists should underlie a future peace treaty with Yerevan.

These, in particular, include mutual recognition of each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual reaffirmation of the absence of territorial claims to each other and a legally binding obligation not to make such claims in the future, abstaining from threatening each other’s security, delimitation and demarcation of the border with the establishment of diplomatic relations and unblocking of transport links.

Mirzoyan today implied that despite the existence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Armenia has had no territorial claims against Azerbaijan

“Signing the Agreement on the Establishment of Cooperation of Independent States on December 8, 1991, the two countries, in fact, already recognized each other’s territorial integrity and accepted that they have no territorial claims against each other,” he said.

Mirzoyan noted that the provisions mentioned in Azerbaijan’s proposal “do not fully reflect the whole agenda of the existing problems.”

“It is vital for the Armenian side that the rights and freedoms of the Armenians of Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh – ed.] are clearly guaranteed, and the status of Nagorno-Karabakh is finally clarified. For us, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not a territorial issue, but a matter of rights,” the top Armenian diplomat underscored.

As for the process of delimitation and demarcation of the border between the two countries, as well as the unblocking of transport links in the region, Mirzoyan said: “We believe that the agreements reached within the Trilateral Statements of November 9, 2020, January 11, 2021, and November 26, 2021, should be fully implemented, and we are consistent in this regard.”

“As you know, we have even made comprehensive proposals for the implementation of these agreements, such as the proposal to launch a delimitation process through the mirrored withdrawal of troops and the introduction of an international monitoring mechanism, which, however, was rejected by the Azerbaijani side,” he added.

Asked about what format Armenia sees for the possible negotiations on a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, Mirzoyan referred to the earlier statement by the country’s Foreign Ministry that said that it “had applied to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship to organize negotiations on a peace treaty on the basis of the UN Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Helsinki Final Act.”

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