“There is no lack of political will”: Pashinyan on opening roads
Pashinyan on opening roads
“There is no lack of political will,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated, answering the questions of Armenian parliament deputies about unblocking roads in the region.
Pashinyan said that in Moscow on December 6 the Deputy Prime Ministers of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan discussed the issue of restoring the Yeraskh-Julfa-Ordubad-Meghri-Horadiz railway. According to the prime minister, the participants in the discussion, the eleventh of this trilateral group, failed to achieve “concrete results.”
An agreement on the restoration of the Yeraskh-Julfa-Ordubad-Meghri-Horadiz railway was reached on December 14, 2021 in Brussels. Pashinyan later said that a few days after this meeting, Aliyev refused to sign a document confirming the agreement.
At the end of November 2022, after Yerevan talks with Putin, Pashinyan announced that he had “received certain signals” about the possible start of restoration work on the railway, though he did not specify what specific “signals” he was talking about.
“The parties will continue to work” – on the meeting of Deputy Prime Ministers
The Grigoryan-Overchuk-Mustafayev meeting was not announced in advance. Late in the evening of December 6, after it was over, information appeared that a regular meeting of the tripartite working group had taken place.
The trilateral format of deputy prime ministers has happening for a year and a half. After meetings a short report is usually published about what was discussed, but without details. It is known from the efforts of the group that two expert working subgroups have been created to deal with the issues of unblocking rail and road traffic. It is difficult for any of the experts to say what specific results these groups have achieved.
Following the last meeting, Armenia reported that construction of the railway, the development of railway links and the organization of transportation between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, were discussed.
“The parties will continue to work on the fulfillment of the tripartite statements of the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan to unblock transport and economic ties in the region,” the report says.
“Without concrete results”
Speaking of the tripartite meeting, Pashinyan said:
“Unfortunately, I can’t say that we have any concrete results.”
He also said that Armenia is ready to start the restoration of the railway “a day earlier”, and the country as a whole is interested in the speedy fulfillment of the project.
“It is unnecessary to repeat our approach to the issue: railways and roads should be used within the framework of Armenian legislation [meaning the preservation of Armenian control over roads, as opposed to Azerbaijan’s demand for a “corridor”, which implies a loss of control – JAMnews]. As soon as it is documented, from that moment we are ready to start work.”
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According to the prime minister, during the last meeting of the deputies the issue of roads was not discussed, but Armenia is ready for their opening, “again, within the framework of the country’s legislation.” He stated that his team has no “lack of political will.”
Pashinyan also recalled Armenia’s proposal to open three checkpoints.
“We are ready to create and build new road infrastructure along the optimal route. This is our road, and we hope to provide a large international transit along this route,” he said.
Pashinyan on opening roads