Yerevan again resorts to speculations to hinder peace agenda
    Entangled in a web of lies

    ANALYTICS  01 June 2023 - 10:19

    Matanat Nasibova

    Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan, during yesterday's panel discussion with Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan - Head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev, held within the framework of the GLOBSEC 2023 forum, again tried to mislead the international community with speculations on the topic of "the rights of the Armenians of Karabakh."  He even demanded that these same "rights of Karabakh Armenians" be discussed only "through direct negotiations between Baku and Stepanakert and with the involvement of the international community". And as for the remnants of the illegal Armenian military formations in Karabakh, which more than two years ago in accordance with the Trilateral Statement should have left, it turns out that they are not gangs of armed men, but, as Grigoryan said, "a defence army".

    "There is only a Nagorno-Karabakh defence army, which is needed because the people living there have security problems. If Azerbaijan wants to change this situation, it must create conditions such that people do not feel the need for a defence army," the Armenian official said.

    Of course, the Armenian side received a clear and unambiguous response to these two absurd and not-at-all-new statements from Hikmet Hajiyev, who recalled that Baku is ready to ensure the rights of Armenians living in Karabakh within the framework of the Constitution of Azerbaijan, but in any case, it is an internal affair of the country. In Yerevan, apparently, they do not want to get used to the fact that it is the only and legitimate solution to the problem, the basis of which is the recognition of not only the international community but also Armenia itself that Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. Just last week, speaking at a press conference in Yerevan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan publicly voiced Yerevan's readiness to officially recognise Karabakh as Azerbaijani territory. Grigoryan also confirmed to Hajiyev that Yerevan recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which incidentally runs counter to his own statement on the "rights of Karabakh Armenians".

    It is more than obvious that the Armenian side is deliberately making unfounded accusations against Baku, aiming to create as many obstacles to the negotiating process as possible. How else should the following claims by Grigoryan be understood? According to him, Armenia recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, but President Aliyev has not said that Azerbaijan recognizes Armenia's 29.800 square kilometres of territory, which causes concern in Yerevan. And the statement of the Azerbaijani leader that "we can draw the border ourselves" was perceived in Yerevan as a threat to itself.

    Yes, the Azerbaijani president did state during a recent meeting with residents of the Lachin region that the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border must be carried out on Baku's terms. But these conditions do not contradict the norms of international law and do not infringe on the civil rights of Karabakh Armenians.

    "The delimitation of the border must be on our terms, that is, on fair terms. The peace agreement must be based on international rules, and the road to Nakhchivan must be opened. All representatives of the Armenian armed forces should be withdrawn from Karabakh. These are our conditions," Aliyev said, adding that a peace agreement should be signed between Baku and Yerevan based on the principle of territorial integrity.

    The key points made by the head of the Azerbaijani State contain all those important principles that fit into the logic of Baku's consistently promoted peace process and are in line with the tripartite agreements to which the Armenian Prime Minister has also agreed. It is therefore absolutely unclear in what words and on what basis the Armenian figures see a threat from President Aliyev. However, it is clear that Yerevan is trying to give the statements from Baku such an aggressive-political tone so that everyone immediately worried about the fate of not only the Armenians of Karabakh but all Armenians in general. And it is not by chance that Hikmet Hajiyev stressed that finally, Armenia began to better understand the phrase "territorial integrity" and its essence. "When Pashinyan went to Karabakh and said that 'Karabakh is Armenia, and that's it,' it was a failure of the negotiation process," Aliyev's aide recalled, pointing to his opponent's previous and current diplomatic mistakes of the Armenian Prime Minister.

    As for the myth about the "army of Nagorno-Karabakh", it was burst in 2020, after Armenia's defeat in Karabakh, and today the matter concerns the banal Armenian bandits, who entrenched in Karabakh and staging armed provocations against the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, stirring up tension in the region. That is why in March this year, speaking at the summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Ankara, President Aliyev underlined that "despite the fact that Armenia recognised the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in Prague and Sochi in 2022, it has still not withdrawn its troops from the territory of Azerbaijan, illegal Armenian bandits, and criminal elements remain in Karabakh" and informed the international community that Armenia continues ignoring the achieved Trilateral agreements.

    Azerbaijan is demonstrating through concrete actions its commitment to fulfilling its obligations to normalise relations with Armenia, offering to sign a peace treaty as soon as possible and trying to establish direct contacts with Karabakh Armenians. Yerevan, on the other hand, responds to all appeals and peace proposals from Baku either by refusing or avoiding any response at all. Azerbaijan is purposefully promoting the peace agenda in all possible negotiating arenas irrespective of whether they take place in Russia, the USA, or Europe.

    Undoubtedly, Baku's principled position will again be voiced during the "big meeting" on the sidelines of the European political summit in Chisinau with the participation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, French and German leaders Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz, as well as European Council president Charles Michel. It should be noted that after the trilateral meeting in Brussels on May 14, the heads of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the European Council agreed to meet in Chisinau.

    However, given the Armenian authorities' tendency to make false promises, it is possible that during this meeting Pashinyan will try to take advantage of the presence of his European overlord, France, and may even baffle the Europeans with another absurd statement to Baku in order to hinder the peace agenda in this track of negotiations too.


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