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 Thursday, October 13 2022 12:53
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Armenia, Azerbaijan agree on peace agreement, border delimitation  before end of 2022 - Armen Grigoryan 

Armenia, Azerbaijan agree on peace agreement, border delimitation  before end of 2022 - Armen Grigoryan 

ArmInfo. From the very first moments of escalations the United States showed active participation, and one of the first telephone talks Armenia's Premier Nikol  Pashinyan had was the one with U.S. Secretary of State Antony  Blinken, and the US has been involved throughout the period,  Secretary of Armenia's Security Council Armen Grigoryan stated in an  interview with the Public TV of Armenia as he answered a question  about his talk with the head of the Azerbaijani Presidential  Administration in New York, USA.  

"The first meeting was between the foreign ministers, on the  initiative of U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Thereafter, the  United States National Security Advisor to President Jake Sullivan  organized a meeting between the assistant to the Azerbaijani  president and me, where we discussed a number of issues of the  Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh  problem. 

"As regards the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, the major agenda is that we  could create an international mechanism for Nagorno-Karabakh and  Azerbaijan to discuss the security and rights of Armenians residing  in Nagorno-Karabakh," he said. 

Official Yerevan hopes such an international mechanisms will be  created in the course of time. The sides also discussed a roadmap for  a peace agreement, which is to be signed by the end of this year, as  well as for delimitation. 

"That is we are to have a peace agreement before the end of this  year, and we also reached an agreement on border delimitation before  the end of this year. That is a peace agreement and border  delimitation are interrelated. That happened because Armenia is  concerned over a possibility of Azerbaijan using the so- called  'undelimited' border as a pretext for attacking Armenia after a peace  agreement has been signed.  One of the issues on the agenda is also  full withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenia's sovereign  territory," Mr Grigoryan said. He pointed out that the same issue was  discussed with the U.S. Secretary of State, and the United States is  insisting on full withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenia's  sovereign territory. 

"We also discussed removal of blockade. And an important issue is  that unblocking Armenia and the region, as well as Azerbaijan, will  be reciprocal. You know Armenia's position is that we are no going to  discuss a single issue of corridor logic, and we go on insisting on  unblocking based on sovereignty and reciprocity principles, Mr  Grigoryan said. 

Another issue on the agenda was the one of POWs. "We discussed  handover of Armenian POWs, and seventeen of those taken captive  during the latest aggression have been handed over. We are also  expecting handover of 33 Armenian POWs who are in captivity according  to confirmed reports," Mr Grigoryan said.  As to what is implied by  international mechanisms of ensuring the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians'  rights, Mr Grigoryan said it is the next stage and the operation of  such mechanisms need to be understood first. 

Peace agreement and border delimitation

Asked about a peace agreement, Mr Grigoryan conformed an agreement on  border delimitation and signing of a peace agreement before the end  of this year. 

"By and large, the Armenian and Azerbaijani border was delimited in  1929. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia went through that process in a  geopolitical situation of that period, and the delimitation process  between Armenia and Azerbaijan can be considered completed. At this  point we have to reach an agreement on taking it as a basis - the  Armenian-Azerbaijani border is this very border, and we ensure  Armenia's territory with an area of 29,800 square kilometers and move  on," Mr Grigoryan said. 

As to whether these are accepted principles, Mr Grigoryan said: "The  mechanisms are not yet clear, we are realize we should move on in  this direction." 

Artsakh-Azerbaijan dialogue

As regards the claims that the statements on a need for a direct  dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert are evidence of "Armenia having  washed its hands of" the issue, Mr Grigoryan called the claims false.  It is Armenia that is working in this direction, he added. The issue  was negotiated with Nagorno-Karabakh as well. "And I think it is the  best way of discussing what specific decisions we actually need," he  said. 

Mr Grigoryan gave assurances that a peace agreement is one process  and creating a mechanism of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh problem is  a different one.

As to whether the sides are ready to follow this path, Mr Grigoryan  said: "We should follow this logic unless any changes in additional  approaches occur." In this context he recalled Azerbaijan's proposals  for a peace agreement which contain a point on unblocking as well.  

As regards Azerbaijan's expanded proposals on a peace agreement, he  said that Armenia's FM received them in Geneva. "We are working on  the proposals now, and I hope we will respond soon and have an  opportunity to meet and discuss them," Mr Grigoryan said. 

Azerbaijan's expanded proposals fit in the logic of its previous five  principles. They contain a point on unblocking, but do not contain  one on Nagorno-Karabakh, as a peace agreement normalizes Armenian-  Azerbaijani relations. Azerbaijan's proposals do not contain any  points that would be unacceptable to Armenia, Mr Grigoryan said. 

He did not clearly answer the question as to what the Armenian side  implies by "mechanisms of ensuring the rights of Nagorno-Karabakh  Armenians." He stated that the Armenian community has always realized  Armenia is able to make progress in negotiations provided it is sure  all the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians' rights will be guaranteed. 

In commenting on a statement by Maria Zakharova, an official  representative of Russia's foreign office, that Russia's proposal is  more balanced for the sides, Mr Grigoryan said that moving on  required understanding of whether Baku is accepting the proposals. 

"Russia is present in the region to ensure stability and security. We  have seen that Azerbaijan has carried out at least three large-scale  attacks since last May, and I do not think that Ms Zakharova objects  to security guarantees for Armenia. And they have repeatedly stated  they are interested in security and stability. This is the reason for  our inviting the European Union to be present and record which of the  sides attacks and be able to ensure stability and, in addition,  ensure the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenia's territory.  Yerevan continues working in this direction and we are going to work  with all the countries seeking to support the process," Mr Grigoryan  said. 

Asked about "news from the CTSO", Mr Grigoryan said:

"We have no news about the CSTO preparing real steps to force  Azerbaijan into withdrawing its troops from Armenia's sovereign  territory. I think the CSTO is informed of Azerbaijan's statements on  the CSTO in European capitals. And I think the CSTO should seriously  think of it." Armenia is still waiting for the CSTO's response, he  concluded.     

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