Azerbaijan said Wednesday that Armenia is not interested in reaching a peace agreement between the two countries in light of the numerous actions it has taken during its formulation process.
“It is indicative that Armenia is not interested in a peace agreement when it opposes the clauses excluding territorial claims against Azerbaijan in the text of the peace agreement, creates an opportunity for future violations even while the text of the agreement is being prepared, hides these non-constructive approaches and comes up with ideas such as ‘international mechanisms’ and an ‘international guarantee institution,’” Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Aykhan Hajizada said in a statement published by the ministry.
The statement, which responded to comments by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan a day earlier, said the fact that Yerevan opposed mediation efforts from the European Union by bringing forward various excuses “demonstrates that it has not given up the practice of creating obstacles to negotiations during the occupation period for nearly 30 years.”
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry further said that Armenia aims to cover up “possible military provocations” by accusing Baku of denying “imaginary agreements” and claiming that Azerbaijan will intensify the situation on the border between the two countries.
“The fact that the Prime Minister of Armenia declared during the briefing that he was ready to sign the project in which only Armenia’s proposals were mentioned and Azerbaijan’s proposals were not taken into account is another proof of his indifference to the peace process,” the statement noted, adding Armenia’s “destructive activities” should be condemned and prevented by the international community.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
In the fall of 2020 in 44 days of clashes, Baku liberated several cities, villages and settlements from Armenian occupation, ending in a Moscow-brokered truce. The peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.
– Armenian premier’s claims ‘another blow to establishing regional peace’
The Foreign Ministry statement also denied Pashinyan’s comments on the Karabakh region, saying his claims are “completely groundless” and “grossly distort historical facts,” which is “another blow to the process of establishing peace in the region.”
“The Armenian Prime Minister’s denial of the fact that Azerbaijanis were forcibly evicted from their lands in the territory of Armenia indicates his intention to justify the systematic and purposeful policy of ethnic cleansing carried out by Armenia for decades,” the statement said.
The statement further noted that Pashinyan’s attempts to intervene in the dialogue between Azerbaijan and its Armenian residents in the Karabakh region and his use of “provocative statements” against Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity are “unacceptable.”
“The fact that Armenia ignores our position that the discussion on the reintegration of residents of Armenian origin is an internal affair of Azerbaijan and that foreign countries have no role in this matter indicates that it has not given up the policy of aggression that it started against our country in the early 90s, under the guise of the principle of ‘peoples determining their own destinies’,” the statement said.
“The Prime Minister of Armenia should understand that the rights of the Armenian residents of the Karabakh region can never prevail over the rights of the Azerbaijani population of the region, and Azerbaijan applies and will only apply an equal approach to the different ethnic peoples living in its territory,” it added.
Azerbaijan on Monday invited representatives of Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region to hold a second round of talks on their reintegration into Azerbaijani society, the first of which took place on March 1 at the headquarters of the Russian peacekeeping contingent stationed in the region.