Baku urges Yerevan to start substantive, result-oriented talks
By Vugar Khalilov
Baku has said that Armenia must show readiness to start substantive and result-oriented negotiations with Azerbaijan, the ministry reported on March 15.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry made the statement in response to Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan's proposals for normalizing bilateral ties between the two nations.
“If Armenia also takes the issue seriously, then it must present its concrete proposals and thus must demonstrate its readiness to start substantive and result-oriented negotiations,” the ministry said.
It emphasized that Azerbaijan's position on restoring relations with Armenia is clear and consistent, adding that "we do not need to repeat the position we have repeatedly stated".
Azerbaijan has proposed ideas in this regard and is willing to go further in this direction, taking into account the importance of normalizing relations between the two countries as well as peace-building activities in the region in the aftermath of the conflict, the ministry added.
Mirzoyan told Armenian media that both Armenia and Azerbaijan had already mutually recognized the territorial integrity and absence of territorial claims towards each other by signing the "CIS Agreement" on December 8, 1991.
"For Armenia, the main and fundamental thing is to guarantee the rights and freedoms of Karabakh Armenians and the final clarification of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. For us, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not a territorial issue but a question of rights," he said.
On March 14, Azerbaijan made public the five basic principles for normalizing relations with Armenia.
For the normalization of relations, Azerbaijan proposes the following principles:
- Mutual recognition of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of internationally recognized borders and political independence of each other;
- Mutual confirmation of the absence of territorial claims against each other and acceptance of legally binding obligations not to raise such a claim in future;
- Obligation to refrain in their inter-State relations from undermining the security of each other, from the threat or use of force both against political independence and territorial integrity and in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the UN Charter;
- Delimitation and demarcation of the state border, and establishment of the diplomatic relations;
- Unblocking of the transportation and other communications, building other communications as appropriate, and establishment of cooperation in other fields of mutual interest.
To recap, after submitting fundamental principles to Armenia on the normalization of relations between the two countries, Armenia turned to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs for peace talks.
Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov earlier told Anadolu news agency that Azerbaijan had sent a five-point proposal to Armenia to normalize relations and was awaiting a response from the opposite side.
"The message is this: the factor of occupation is gone. In this situation, the Azerbaijani side, despite all the difficulties and problems of the past, is in favor of normalizing relations with Armenia," he said.
He stressed that Armenia has not responded to Azerbaijan's proposal for almost a year.
The minister described Azerbaijan's recent new proposal to Armenia as a sign of goodwill.
"We have proposed to the Armenian side some fundamental principles, which 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," he said.