MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Recognition of Armenia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders by Azerbaijan could allow the two countries to sign a peace treaty, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Friday.
“If Azerbaijan recognized the territorial integrity of Armenia, not theoretically, but concretely, I mean the integrity of our internationally recognized territory of 29,800 square kilometers [11,500 square miles]it would mean that we can sign a peace treaty mutually recognizing each other’s territorial integrity,” Pashinyan said, addressing the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
In all other cases, Azerbaijan will use the issue of border demarcation to make new territorial claims and escalate the situation, expects the Armenian Prime Minister.
“Azerbaijan keeps tangible territories of Armenia under occupation, and as I said, the risk of further aggression by Azerbaijan remains very high,” Pashinyan said.
Pashinyan considers a comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to be one of the key factors for regional stability, where the rights and security of Armenians living in the region must be guaranteed.
“We call for support for the safe and unhindered access of UN humanitarian agencies to Nagorno-Karabakh in order to assess the humanitarian and human rights situation and to ensure the protection of cultural heritage on the ground” , said the Prime Minister of Armenia.
Armenia’s goal is the establishment of long-term stability, security and peace and the country is committed to continuing diplomatic efforts to achieve this goal, Pashinyan said.
Hostilities erupted on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the early hours of September 13, in an area unrelated to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijan said it launched an offensive in response to an Armenian “provocation”. Armenia said Azerbaijani forces shelled Armenian civilian towns without military infrastructure. The two countries agreed to a ceasefire later on September 13, which fell through overnight. Another ceasefire came into effect late on September 14.
The long-running conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh erupted in September 2020, marking the most serious escalation in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan in years. Hostilities ended with a Moscow-brokered trilateral declaration signed in November 2020. Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to completely cease fire and exchange prisoners. However, the situation in the region remained tense, with intermittent clashes between the two countries.