Pashinyan-Aliyev-Blinken meeting in Munich
Pashinyan-Aliyev-Blinken in Munich
Negotiations between Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan have taken place at the 59th Munich Security Conference. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his team acted as mediator and participant in the meeting during this extremely tense period of relations.
After the end of the meeting, it became clear from a report that the parties had not reached significant agreement on any issue, only that they had discussed the whole range of existing problems.
Their respective positions before the meeting were unequivocal and categorical, in particular tregardingthe situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin corridor, currently blocked by Azerbaijani activists.
Initially, it was obvious that the content of the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace agreement would also be discussed during the negotiations. The day before, Pashinyan said that Armenia’s proposals had been submitted to Azerbaijan.
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The situation at the time of negotiations
Azerbaijanis who declare themselves eco-activists continue to block the Lachin corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. The de facto blockade has been going on for over two months.
Politicians from different countries, international organizations, and the European Parliament, have called on Azerbaijan to unblock the corridor. But Baku claims that the road is open, with Russian soldiers and the Red Cross moving freely.
The Azerbaijani authorities have repeatedly stated that they expect the opening of a similar corridor, which they call “Zangezur”, to connect with their exclave of Nakhichevan. Armenia declares its readiness to immediately provide any route, but categorically refuses to provide a “corridor”, which implies the loss of sovereign control on this territory.
On February 16, the Prime Minister of Armenia announced that his team had completed work on the text of the peace agreement and submitted their proposals to Azerbaijan and the mediating countries of the OSCE Minsk Group (USA, France, Russia).
Information from Yerevan
Immediately after the end of the meeting, the press service of the Armenian government disseminated a message about its results.
It says they discussed
- progress on the draft peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan,
- unblocking regional roads,
- delimitation between the two countries in accordance with the agreements reached earlier in Prague.
“Prime Minister Pashinyan confirmed their determination to achieve the signing of such an agreement, which will indeed become a guarantee of long-term peace and stability in the region.
Pashinyan stressed the illegal nature of the blockade and the resulting humanitarian, environmental and energy crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh,” the government reported.
Information from Baku
After a trilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev commented on the progress of the negotiations on Azerbaijani TV channels.
Aliyev noted that three days ago Azerbaijan received a response from Armenia to its proposals on the text of the peace treaty.
“Now we are studying them. At first glance, there is progress in Armenia’s position, but it is not sufficient,” he said.
He also discussed the situation on the Lachin road:
“Of course, we also discussed the situation on the Lachin-Khankendi road. I again stated the position of Azerbaijan. I explained that there was no question of any blockade.
Since December 12, more than 2,500 trucks and vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross have been provided with passage on the road. If the road is blocked, how did these cars get through it? This is an unfounded accusation against Azerbaijan, and we reject it.
I would like to note that at all the meetings I held this position was accepted with understanding. In particular, the EU understands our position. We rightly demand an end to the illegal exploitation of our fields. I am confident that our environmental activists will continue their honorable mission until our demand is met.”
Aliyev also shared some details of Azerbaijan’s proposals to open regional transport:
“If we are talking about the delimitation of borders, then without a checkpoint it is impossible. If we are talking about opening roads, then checkpoints should be created both in the Zangezur corridor and on the border of the Lachin region with Armenia.”
Pashinyan-Aliyev-Blinken in Munich