YEREVAN — Armenia is actively seeking a swift agreement with Azerbaijan to establish peace and improve relations, according to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s statements during a press conference held on May 22.
Pashinyan emphasized the tense military-political situation in Armenia and highlighted the government’s commitment to pursuing a peaceful resolution. He mentioned that intensive negotiations with Azerbaijan are currently taking place to finalize a treaty on peace and relations. Pashinyan expressed hope for reaching an agreement on the text as soon as possible and proceeding with its signing.
During the press conference, Pashinyan also revealed details about the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, stating that Armenia had rejected to parts of itduring the drafting phase. He acknowledged that certain items were removed from the agreement, stating that Armenia made it clear that it would not sign the document under any circumstances. Pashinyan specifically mentioned two contentious issues related to enclaves and a corridor through the territory of Armenia.
Furthermore, Pashinyan admitted that some officials had advocated for signing the agreement despite the presence of the contentious clauses. He expressed regret that these conversations were not recorded, as it would have prevented individuals from making false claims. Pashinyan noted that these officials later accused him of treason and demanded his resignation, but he emphasized that the discussions had indeed taken place.
Regarding the signing of the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement, Pashinyan stated that he had engaged in discussions with various officials. He informed those present that the matter would not be put up for a vote to avoid placing responsibility solely on others. After the discussions, he ultimately made the decision to sign the document, despite emotional opposition from some participants.
Pashinyan further mentioned that Armenia is prepared to recognize 86,600 square kilometers as Azerbaijani territory, as long as Azerbaijan is willing to recognize Armenia’s area of 29,800 square kilometers. He emphasized that discussions on the rights and security of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians should take place in the Stepanakert-Baku format, underscoring the importance of international guarantees for this mechanism.
Without such guarantees, Pashinyan warned that the issue of rights and security for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh might be neglected, enabling Azerbaijan to continue its policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Armenians through the use of force. He stressed the necessity of preventing the continuation of such policies.
When asked whether the Armenian government recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister responded that all governments of the Republic of Armenia have acknowledged the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, regardless of the current government’s stance.