Yerevan Says Baku Has Agreed to Discuss Armenia’s 6-Point Proposal

The Armenia-Azerbaijan border

Armenia has submitted a six-point proposal to Azerbaijan, which according to Armenia’s National Security chief, Baku has agreed to discuss.

Armen Grigoryan told reporters on Thursday that Baku has not rejected the presumably new proposals submitted by Yerevan, saying that in his talks with a top Azerbaijani official this week, there were signals that Azerbaijan was ready to discuss these points, although he did not specify what they are but said that the document was in response to Baku’s five proposals, which include a demand for Armenia to recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity—including Artsakh.

“Azerbaijan’s proposed points were not unacceptable for Armenia. With its six points Armenia proposed that there also should be a resolution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in order for comprehensive peace to be possible,” Grigoyan said.

When Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan met last month in Brussels they agreed to begin the process of drafting a “peace treaty,” based on which talks would take place. Charles Michel, the President of the Council of Europe, who mediated the April talks, said that the European Union was prepared to advance the talks between Yerevan and Baku.

“Our approach is that these two packages—“5+6 points”—should be merged together as a start of negotiations over a peace treaty in order to find a long-term solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” Grigoryan said.

He reiterated Armenia’s position on prioritizing a solution to the security, defense and rights of Armenians living in Artsakh and that the status of Nagorno Karabakh should be developed in accordance.

“I haven’t seen a public rejection of this package [by Azerbaijan],” said Grigoryan. “There is an understanding in our discussions that these two packages should be joined and that negotiations should start. Both the Azerbaijani side and all other international partners have this understanding. Starting negotiations over the 5+6 points is a legitimate approach and we’ve seen that understanding,” Grigoryan said.

Grigoryan on Monday met with Aliyev’s chief advisor Himet Hajiyev in Brussels. The meeting was mediated by the EU’s Special Representative to the South Caucasus Toivo Klaar.

Armenia’s national security chief said that for Yerevan signing a peace treaty with Azerbaijan meant that a settlement to the Karabakh conflict will also be found.

“We see the resolution to the conflict through ensuring security—the security of our compatriots living in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as ensuring rights,” said Grigoryan. “A status [for Artsakh] must be determined accordingly.”

“Guarantees of ensuring security will also be there, and at this moment we don’t know what kind of guarantees will exist from an institutional perspective, we will discuss this during negotiations and if we reach any decision and see that the security of our compatriots will definitely be ensured we will give consent to it,” Grigoryan said.

He emphasized that one of the issues will be discussed during the “peace talks” will be the recognition by Armenia and Azerbaijan of each other’s territorial integrity.

“Of course, we note that in 1992 Armenia and Azerbaijan recognized each other’s sovereign territories and sovereignty within the CIS, but you also know that other developments have taken place since then. Armenia and Azerbaijan continue recognizing each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” added Grigoryan.

He made the remarks in response to recent statements by Aliyev, who on Wednesday again addressed the “Zangezur Corridor,” his scheme to link mainland Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan through Armenia.

“As for the Zangezur corridor, this corridor is already a reality,” Aliyev said. “The railway, the highway passing through the territory of Zangilan region, will not only connect the main part of Azerbaijan with the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, but will also become a new route of international cargo transportation, it will be an international route.”

Grigoryan said statements such as the ones made by Aliyev do not contribute to a positive outcome of any talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the future.

Grigoryan also said on Thursday that a commission to delimit and demarcate the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan has not been established yet, adding, however, that discussion on the matter were ongoing.

“Discussions around this continue. Of course we hoped that it would be possible to find solutions and move forward by the end of April. But I can say that now intensive discussions continue and there is hope that a meeting could take place soon. The discussions are around the approaches regarding the working group, and there are questions on other matters as well and we haven’t found the final answers to them so far. As soon as we find the answers, there will be a public statement and a meeting will take place,” Grigoryan explained.