Armenia on Wednesday accused Azerbaijan of torpedoing peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh and planning to start another war for the disputed territory.
“Unfortunately, Azerbaijan is continuing to escalate the situation with repetitive statements that do not correspond to any standards of civilized dialogue and deal a serious blow to the negotiating process,” President Serzh Sarkisian charged.
“As a tactic, Azerbaijan has adopted a policy of dragging out [negotiations.] In effect, it is waiting for an opportune moment to start a new military adventure,” he said after talks with Lithuania’s visiting President Dalia Grybauskaite.
The remarks were in sharp contrast to statements made by both Sarkisian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev following their most recent meeting that was hosted by their Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in early March. The Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders said the summit brightened prospects for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.
Their foreign ministers held follow-up negotiations in Moscow late last month. Azerbaijan’s Elmar Mammadyarov afterwards spoke of a “glimmer of hope that we are moving in the right direction.”
Sarkisian’s claims may have been prompted by Aliyev’s continuing threats to win back Karabakh and Azerbaijani territories surrounding it by force. They came less than a week after three Karabakh Armenian soldiers were shot dead by Azerbaijani forces.
“We are ready to work and negotiate and find it necessary to look for mutual concessions,” Sarkisian told a joint news conference with Grybauskaite. “But a solution requires the same desire on the part of Azerbaijan.”
The Lithuanian president, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, arrived in Yerevan on the last leg of her tour of the three South Caucasus states. She met with Aliyev in Baku earlier this week.
“Nobody, no international organization will ever support a military solution,” said Grybauskaite. “That’s a very clear message to all countries I have visited during these three days.”