(Photo Credit: Twitter)
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on 22 May that Yerevan is ready to recognize the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan if Azeri authorities can guarantee the security of the region’s predominantly ethnic Armenian population.
“If we understand each other correctly on this issue, Armenia is ready to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan of 86,600 square kilometers, and in our understanding, Azerbaijan is also ready to recognize the territorial integrity of Armenia of 29,800 square kilometers,” Pashinyan told reporters on Monday.
He added, “as for rights and security of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians, they are to be discussed in the format of Stepanakert-Baku dialogue.”
When asked directly whether Yerevan recognizes Artsakh – the Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh – as part of Azerbaijan, Pashinyan replied, “all previous Armenian governments have recognized the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.”
The two South Caucasus countries have fought multiple wars over the last 35 years for control of Nagorno-Karabakh, home to mainly ethnic Armenians but claimed by Azerbaijan.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, ethnic Armenian separatists in Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan. Some 30,000 people were killed in the conflict that followed.
One of the latest clashes occurred in 2020; Moscow’s mediation efforts diffused the tensions.
In April, the Armenian premier said that Yerevan and Baku could sign a peace treaty if they both recognize one another’s territorial integrity “without any ambiguity and pitfalls” while agreeing not to have any territorial disputes in the future.
Throughout 2022, Azerbaijan expanded its control of key strategic territories in the region. Over 200 Armenian troops and about 80 Azerbaijanis have been killed in the conflict.