Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan again vowed on Monday that his government plans to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan and normalize Armenia’s relations with Turkey.
“Signing a treaty on peace and normalization of relations with Azerbaijan, and the normalization of relations with Turkey is in our plans. As much as we realize that this won’t be easy, moving forward with this plan is in the state interest of Armenia,” Pashinyan told members of the parliament’s budget committee.
In the collapsing world order, the only tool for ensuring Armenia’s security is the identification of the homeland with the state, its territory, internationally recognized borders and territorial integrity, Pashinyan said.
“The key, practical issue stemming from this perception, as strange as it may sound, is the realization of the state’s geographic location, and before the global discussion on East-West, North-South, I find it important to realize that we are situated in the South Caucasian region, we have four neighbors, and all the main threats and possibilities that we could have are hidden in the relations with them. In this regard, the further deepening of the friendly and cooperative nature of relations with Georgia and Iran are also important,” Pashinyan explained.
He announced that the three main principles of normalization of relations and peace with Azerbaijan have been agreed upon and the signing of a peace treaty will be realistic if both the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides remain committed to these principles.
Pashinyan explained that the three principles are:
- The mutual recognition by Armenia and Azerbaijan of each other’s territorial integrity, with the understanding that Armenia’s territory is 29,800 square km and Azerbaijan’s 86,600 square km. These numbers are taken from the latest USSR encyclopedias. The demarcation and delimitation will be carried out during further discussions and agreements.
- Agreement by the parties agree to carry out delimitation based on the Alma-Ata Declaration, which means that the administrative borders that existed between the Armenian SSR and Azerbaijani SSR have become the state borders between the two countries when the USSR collapsed. The inviolability of these borders is recognized by the parties based on the Alma-Ata Declaration.
- The opening of the regional connections based on the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the sides, and the regional connections will function on the basis of reciprocity and equality. The Armenian government has presented its position in the Crossroads of Peace concept in this regard.
“The presence of maps recording the situation when the Alma-Ata Declaration was adopted is of key importance in the delimitation process. Essentially, the parties have the maps that reflect those realities. Thus, in case of political will by the sides it is possible to swiftly and effectively move forward in this process as well,” Pashinyan added.
Pashinyan also expressed hope that the Armenia-Turkey land border will soon open to citizens of third countries and diplomatic passport holders.
“Speaking about the Armenia-Turkey relations, I’d like to express hope that soon we will have the implementation of the agreements reached as a result of the discussions and negotiations between the special representatives, which pertains to the following: At this phase the Armenia-Turkey border gets opened for citizens of third countries and diplomatic passport holders,” Pashinyan said.
“In addition to the political agreement, significant infrastructure work has been done. In particular, we worked in the Margara checkpoint in the direction of re-equipping and restoring it and in this regard, we are already ready for such developments. We hope that these agreements get implemented,” Pashinyan explained.
The Armenian leader said that the tense international situation has created serious threats for Armenia, “but the skillful management of these threats could create equally serious possibilities for the country.”
“The international situation has escalated significantly over the past two years,” Pashinyan said. “The likelihood of a nuclear war has become a serious topic of discussion among politicians and experts.”
“We are living in conditions of a collapsing world order that existed since the end of the Cold War. This situation creates serious threats for Armenia, but the skillful management of these threats could create equally serious possibilities for our state,” Pashinyan said.
He advanced the notion of equating homeland to statehood, saying discussions on these important issues is on his government’s national security agenda.
Pashinyan said that adjusting the conceptual foundations of the statehood is of key importance.
He went on to advance a new concept: “The homeland is the state. If you love your homeland, strengthen your state.”