Senior Azerbaijani officials complained that Yerevan has still not accepted the proposal made after last year’s war in Karabakh.
“Our proposal is very clear: Armenia must respect neighbors’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. This would help it to get out of an economic and transport deadlock and become a thriving regional country,” Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said during an international conference held in the Azerbaijani capital.
In a clear reference to Karabakh, both Bayramov and Hikmet Hajiyev, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s chief foreign policy aide, said the Armenian side must drop its “territorial claims” to Azerbaijan.
Hajiyev echoed Aliyev’s repeated assertions that Baku essentially ended the conflict with its victory in the six-week war stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire last November. “The Karabakh issue is no longer a foreign policy issue for Azerbaijan,” he said. “It’s an internal issue.”
Armenian leaders maintain that the conflict remains unresolved, citing joint statements made in recent months by the U.S., Russian and French mediators leading the OSCE Mink Group. They say Karabakh’s internationally recognized status has yet to be determined on the basis of the mediators’ peace proposals.
Some Russian and Armenian media outlets reported last week that that Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to host fresh talks between Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.
Aliqmedia.am claimed that Aliyev and Pashinian will sign two documents envisaging the demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the opening of transport links between the two South Caucasus states. It said one of those documents will also commit Baku and Yerevan to recognizing each other’s territorial integrity.
Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan did not rule out afterwards the possibility of an Armenian-Azerbaijani summit while saying that it is not planned yet.
Bayramov and Mirzoyan had separate phone calls with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier this week.