In a statement made last Friday a spokesman for Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said that official Yerevan considered requesting that the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (the United States, France, and Russia) initiate peace talks between Yerevan and Baku.
Later that day, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said that Baku had passed to Yerevan a new “five-point proposal” for the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. He said that Baku was awaiting an answer from Yerevan.
“We have recently sent a new proposal to Armenia as a sign of goodwill. We have proposed some fundamental principles that include the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We expressed our readiness to develop relations on the basis of certain principles. Armenia should consider this and give its answer. If Armenia sincerely wants to normalize relations, then this is a very good opportunity for them. Armenia’s response will be known in the near future, and of course we will take appropriate steps,” Bayramov said, as quoted by Azerbaijani media.
“All the principles mentioned in this document are the principles of international relations,” the Azerbaijani minister added, noting that the proposal includes the issue of border demarcation as well.
In a statement issued today, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said: “The Republic of Armenia responded to the proposals of the Republic of Azerbaijan and applied to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship to organize negotiations for the signing of peace agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the basis of the UN Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Helsinki Final Act.”
The OSCE Minsk Group has for decades spearheaded international efforts to negotiate a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The two neighboring nations waged a second war over Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, with Baku regaining control over all seven districts surrounding the Armenian-populated region as well as parts of the former autonomous oblast of Soviet Azerbaijan proper. The war ended with a Russian-brokered peace deal.
Since then, Azerbaijan has repeatedly claimed that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been resolved. In his public statements Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has sought a peace treaty with Armenia that would reaffirm the current status quo in the region. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has also publically called for “an era of peace” in the region, indicating that Yerevan was ready to negotiate a peace accord. Meanwhile, opposition members and many political observers in Armenia fear that signing a peace accord with Azerbaijan would mean abandoning aspirations for independence or some other status for the mostly Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In a statement today Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry named the five fundamental principles on which it wants the future peace accord with Armenia to be based, including mutual recognition of each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual reaffirmation of the absence of territorial claims to each other and a legally binding obligation not to make such claims in the future, abstaining from threatening each other’s security, demarcation of the border and unblocking of transport links.