Azerbaijani Foreign Minister: Armenia’s attitude towards the Zangezur corridor will harm itself

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramovheld a press conference on the results of 2022. Stating that joint studies are being carried out with Turkey and new documents are being prepared in all areas stemming from the Shusha Declaration, Bayramov said, “Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev paid 3 visits to Turkey and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Azerbaijan twice this year. At the same time, bilateral meetings were held on international platforms.


Reminding that Azerbaijan presented 5 basic principles regarding peace to Armenia last February in accordance with the peace agenda in the post-conflict period, Bayramov said, “Although the third round of negotiations was planned to be held in Moscow on 23 December, Armenia broke these negotiations. This year, negotiations were held on the re-establishment of transport and communication links at the level of the Deputy Prime Ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. Three discussions were held on the issue of setting boundaries. Despite all this, little progress has been made. The reason for this is Armenia’s non-constructive stance,” he said.


Stating that measures have been taken and continue to be taken against the applications of the Azerbaijani side against Armenia in the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, Bayramov said, “At the same time, in December, Azerbaijan burned and demolished hundreds of houses while evacuating the city of Lachin and two neighboring villages in May-August 2022. filed a new inter-State complaint against Armenia, demanding compensation for the damage done. These processes have their own characteristics. Starting from the beginning of 2023, Azerbaijan will file new applications against Armenia due to the damage to the environment and nature, as well as the illegal use of energy resources and natural resources.


Stating that the construction of a bridge over the Araz River between Azerbaijan and Iran has begun, Bayramov said, “There will be a short road from Zengilan to Nakhchivan. Armenia’s stance on the issue of the Zangezur corridor will harm itself. The sooner Armenia understands this and fulfills its obligations by taking pragmatic steps in line with its national interests, the better it will be for itself first of all. We will in any case realize its own national interests and demand that Armenia fulfill its obligations,” he said.


Stating that in his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Azerbaijani side fully expressed its position on the situation on the Lachin road, Bayramov said, “However, the fact that our inspection group was not allowed to enter the mines is related to a provocation organized by the local population. This is of course a crafted game. The Azerbaijani side expressed its stance on this issue. According to the tripartite declaration, Russian peacekeepers were deployed for a period of 5 years. There is no agreement or contract regarding the extension of this period. “There are no talks in this direction at the moment,” he said.


Expressing that Azerbaijan’s stance on the removal of illegal Armenian armed groups from Karabakh is clear, Bayramov said, “The tripartite declaration also responds to this. In many cases, Armenian authorities claim that this applies to the Armenian Armed Forces. But they didn’t even do that. Lots of evidence confirms this. But the tripartite declaration mentions the withdrawal of Armenian armed groups from Karabakh. All armed groups had to be removed when peacekeepers were deployed there. We are constantly bringing up this issue in our meetings. The attitude of the Russian side is that this is a tripartite declaration and Armenia has also signed it. This is Armenia’s obligation and Armenia must ensure the withdrawal of Armenian armed groups from Karabakh. This is really an obligation of Armenia and they are violating this obligation. In parallel with this, it creates tension in the region,” he said.


Emphasizing that Azerbaijan has declared at the highest level that the Armenians in Karabakh have the right to live in Azerbaijan, Bayramov said, “The Azerbaijani state is ready to provide their rights. Azerbaijan has taken steps in this regard and is ready to take it,” he said.

Noting that there were some disturbing issues in the negotiations for the signing of the peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Bayramov said, “There are three elements on our side. The first element is that when a proposal is presented, you should not suddenly incorporate your own wishes and desires into it. This proposal should be realistic and based on international law. There must be a basis for moving this forward. Based on this, Azerbaijan presented 5 basic principles. In a short time, Armenia admitted that there is no unacceptable principle for them in the 5 basic principles. There was a reason for that. Because it is actually very difficult to say ‘no’ to him. Its 5 core principles were very fair. After these 5 principles, there were negotiations. As a result of these negotiations, although no new documents were accepted, agreements were made that further developed the 5 basic principles. These were deemed acceptable by Armenia. The Armenian side announced this to its own community. When we look at some of the statements made by Armenia during the negotiation process, we see that a step back was taken from the agreements reached. We think this is a very harmful trend. Withdrawing from the agreements reached negatively affects the negotiation process. This will also prolong the process,” he said.


Azerbaijan Stating that they saw the second unacceptable issue for the U.S. after the meeting, Bayramov said, “The logic of the Azerbaijani side was that in the last 30 years, we have been dealing with Azerbaijan. ARMENIA there was no relationship between Therefore, if we want to take any first step, the basic principles, substance and philosophy of the document must be very simple. Although it may not be possible to solve some problems one hundred percent, some positive and important steps can be taken. Therefore, the proposal presented by the Azerbaijani side was very simple and concise. The draft submitted by the Armenian side was an attempt to change the essence of this document. The aim is to convert a simple document into a framework agreement and have other agreements accepted as part of the framework document. If we move from here, the Azerbaijani side may bring up some issues. We have many claims and demands for the Armenian side. We are not satisfied with everything and we do not give up our demands against Armenia. However, we do not put them as a first requirement. Armenia leaks the issues discussed during the negotiation process to the public. This is done through social media. First, leaking this information is very damaging to the negotiation process. The second one does not reflect the attitude of the other party. Unlike us, the mediators do not openly blame Armenia on this issue. We reported that it is very harmful. The mediators also see this,” he said.