YEREVAN—Armenia has never assumed any obligation to provide an extraterritorial corridor and will never accept any such interpretation, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on July 6 during a weekly cabinet meeting.

“Azerbaijan continues to accuse Armenia of not fulfilling obligations on ensuring transport connection through its territory with some ambiguous interpretations. I have to repeat that Armenia has never, neither verbally nor in writing, assumed any corridor obligation and will not accept any such interpretation. By reading the 9 November 2020 agreement, anyone can see that Armenia hasn’t assumed any corridor obligation,” Pashinyan said.

Pashinyan said that Armenia is ready for the unblocking of regional connections under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the countries.

“For a long time, the Armenian government has put into circulation a draft decision envisaging the opening of three border checkpoints on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. This decision is not being adopted because of Azerbaijan’s destructive approach, which hasn’t even initiated such a process and doesn’t want to provide a road for Armenia. The logic is that Azerbaijan should also make the same decision, so that these checkpoints get installed on both Armenia’s side and Azerbaijan’s side, in order for the regional and transport infrastructures to be unblocked. Azerbaijan is not doing this, and Azerbaijan is behaving this way because it hasn’t abandoned its 30-year policy of subjecting the Republic of Armenia to blockade,” Pashinyan said.

Pashinyan said he will continue to push for a comprehensive peace accord with Azerbaijan despite Baku’s intention to commit genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pashinyan again decried Azerbaijan’s continuing blockage of the Lachin corridor and mounting pressure on Karabakh, saying that this policy is aimed at “subjecting the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh to ethnic cleansing and genocide.”

“Basically, we are seeing a creeping implementation of that policy in Nagorno-Karabakh,” he charged.

Pashinyan made it clear that in these circumstances, he will not deviate from his peace agenda. “The rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh should be addressed within the framework of international mechanisms for a Baku-Stepanakert dialogue, and a peace treaty should be signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” insisted Pashinyan.

Pashinyan also rejected Aliyev’s baseless accusations that Armenia has has troops in Karabakh. “Azerbaijan continues to demand the withdrawal of the army units of Armenia from Nagorno Karabakh, but Armenia doesn’t have a single soldier in Nagorno Karabakh. I say again, there is no military of Armenia in Nagorno Karabakh. Nagorno Karabakh has its own Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army, and anyone can find the reasons of its existence in the official propaganda and actions of Azerbaijan, whose overt essence is to subject the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh to ethnic cleansing and genocide. We are basically witnessing the implementation of this policy today in Nagorno Karabakh,” Pashinyan added.

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