Almaty to host negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan and Armenia
Photo credit:

Official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Aibek Smadiyarov has disclosed the details about the upcoming negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as reported by a Kazinform News Agency correspondent.

“As per prior agreements, negotiations between the heads of the foreign ministries of Azerbaijan and Armenia will convene in Almaty on May 10, 2024,” stated A.Smadiyarov.

Earlier, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed Kazakhstan's interest in facilitating a peace treaty between the two nations. During a joint conference with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev offered to host negotiations in Kazakhstan.

Previously, Armenia and Azerbaijan engaged in armed conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, leading to the eventual withdrawal of Armenian forces and civilians from the region. Both parties have established a ceasefire and are in discussions to finalize a peace treaty. In January 2024, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan extended an invitation to Azerbaijan to sign an arms control agreement.

As quoted by Aysor news website, Pashinyan proposed a mirror withdrawal of both nations’ troops. “To ensure security, let’s carry out a mirror withdrawal of troops from the border line defined by the Alma-Ata Declaration in order to neutralize the risk of clashes.” However, official Baku, he pointed out, rejects this.

Before the start of the second Karabakh war in 2020, Pashinyan repeatedly stated that "Artsakh (the Armenian term for Nagorno-Karabakh) is Armenia territory." He justified his stance by referencing the Armenian Declaration of Independence, which advocates for the reunification of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nagorno-Karabakh, formerly part of the Azerbaijan SSR, was recognized as Azerbaijani territory following the Soviet Union's dissolution. However, it eventually came under Armenian control by the end of the first Karabakh war in 1994. While official Yerevan supported the independence of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), but did not legally recognize it.

In April 2023, while addressing the Armenian parliament, Prime Minister Pashinyan recalled that by agreeing to the Madrid principles—a settlement framework proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group in 2007—Armenia acknowledged Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan.

He also stated that a peace treaty would only be possible if Armenia's territorial boundaries are recognized as the 29,800 square kilometers of the Armenian SSR, within which the republic declared independence in 1991. “Now I want to confirm that the Republic of Armenia fully recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and we expect that Azerbaijan will do the same by recognizing the entire territory of the Armenian SSR as the Republic of Armenia,” the prime minister emphasized. This was followed by a reaction from Baku.

On April 18, 2003, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, demanded that Yerevan officially declare that Karabakh is sovereign Azerbaijan territory.

In his interview to AzTV, Aliyev clarified: "Since 2021, Yerevan's position has significantly changed; now the leadership of Armenia is, in principle, in agreement with the Azerbaijani approach."

According to his words, "There is no other option. That is precisely why Armenia officially recognized the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan at meetings in Prague and Sochi last October. It agreed that the borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia should be determined based on the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991," Aliyev stated.

At the same time, he emphasized that “Karabakh is an internal matter” of Azerbaijan. He also called on Armenians who live in the Karabakh region to accept Azerbaijani citizenship or move out of the region.

“We have repeatedly stated that we will not discuss our internal affairs with any country. Karabakh is our internal matter. Armenians living in Karabakh either must accept Azerbaijani citizenship or must look for another place of residence,” Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with AzTV.

In September 2023, Azerbaijan launched an "anti-terrorist operation" in Nagorno-Karabakh. This campaign concluded with a ceasefire agreement, the disarming of Karabakh’s military units, and the reintegration of the region into Azerbaijan, including its Armenian population. Subsequently, over 100,000 Armenians, constituting the majority of the region's population, departed from Nagorno-Karabakh.

In October, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev raised the national flag in the capital of Karabakh Khankendi (Armenian Stepanakert) , followed by a victory parade.

Currently reading