Aliyev Rejects Including Artsakh in Peace Talks

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan gives a national address on Norouz

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan gives a national address on Norouz

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan on Wednesday rejected Yerevan’s position of returning Artsakh to the Karabakh peace negotiations, calling the suggestion advanced by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan a change in the negotiations format.

Aliyev, who made the statement during his annual Norouz—new year—address, went further by saying that the conflict “must be resolved only within the territorial integrity” of Azerbaijan.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Pashinyan reiterated his policy stance that Artsakh must be represented in the peace talks, saying that what he was proposing was nothing new and Yerevan’s insistence to involve Artsakh in the negotiations should not be viewed as a challenge, but rather an invitation for dialogue with Baku.

“As you know, the Armenian side has raised questions about changing the format of the negotiations. However, Azerbaijan certainly cannot accept this,” said Aliyev during his address.

Last month the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders agreed to an OSCE Minsk Group proposal to hold an official meeting. Ahead of this as yet unscheduled meeting, Armenia and Artsakh held a joint meeting of their respective national security councils last week in Stepanakert where Pashinyan also said that the principles based on which the Minsk Group co-chairmen are mediating the peace talks must be clarified.

To that end, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan on Wednesday told reporters that the upcoming meeting between Pashinyan and Aliyev will not be “negotiations around the Nagorno-Karabakh resolution issue per se, but an effort to seek appropriate interpretations of the principles and elements of the negotiation process.”

“There are different interpretations of the three principles and six elements included in the [negotiation] document. Azerbaijan interprets them its own way, the Armenian side also has its own interpretation… Therefore, there is a need for a meeting just to work out an appropriate interpretation for all three principles and six elements, and only then understand how to move forward,” elaborated Naghdalyan.

The foreign ministry spokesperson also criticized Azerbaijan’s large-scale offensive-type military drills on the borders of Armenia and Artsakh without prior notification calling it ”a violation of international obligations outlined by the OSCE requirements.”

“The drills in no way whatsoever contribute to the strengthening of the atmosphere of trust in the region,” Naghdalyan said during Wednesday’s press briefing.

“Our representation at the OSCE has also raised this issue within OSCE circles and demanded relevant explanations from Azerbaijan,” she added.

Asked to comment on Azerbaijan’s deployment of a new military base at the border with Armenia, Naghdalyan emphasized that the move also does not contribute to strengthening an atmosphere of trust in the region. “Both Artsakh and Armenia have resolve and capabilities to defend [themselves] and give a counter-blow. Let no one doubt this issue because it is through this resolve that we are committed to take steps to establish peace,” she said.


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  1. State of Emergency said:

    What is it exactly that needs to be negotiated with Baku? Their demands are to have full territorial, political and military control over Artsakh. How is that even negotiable? The conflict can be resolved overnight if our so-called ally merely signals a firm stand. But their agenda to divide and conquer won’t allow it to happen. The status quo serves them well in their attempt to woo Turkey away from the west while at the same time have Armenia dance like a marionette with the OSCE.

  2. Raffi said:

    Next round, go for the oil and the gas fields, the strength of Azerbaijan is Moneeeeeeeeeeeeeey.

  3. GB said:

    His survival as Turkic herds leader is to deny Artsakh existence so he can be able to suck more wealth out of his stupid uneducated oil Sheikhdom until Putin find a new “loyal” successor!

  4. Jacque said:

    look at Israel, surrounded by nations that wants nothing but its destruction, yet they stand strong and push back.
    It’s time to unify Artsakh with Armenia and stand strong as one nation and people with the diaspora and strengthen our military and long range striking capabilities.
    Only then we’ll have our ‘yergate sherep ‘ and claim what is ours.

  5. Mike said:

    How can we possible negotiate with a country on Artsakh when they not only put claim on Artsakh but even the Armenian capital? The best way to deal with this situation is to give them a deadline for recognizing Artsakh’s independence or completely destroy their 90% of income coming from a few oil pipelines and put their country in total darkness for weeks by firing a single missile towards Mingechavir power plant. Aliev’s regime will never negotiate like a civilized government.

  6. JOE said:

    This conflict is a for the very survival of the people of Artsakh itself. For Azerbaijan, this conflict is the survival of the regime..Ignore this despot. PREPARE FOR WAR. There is nothing to give back.

  7. JOE said:

    One more thing: Armenia needs to put a military unit base in the northern part right where the Azeri oil pipe lines run near. This needs to be the first place of destruction if war breaks out.