TEHRAN, Mar. 11 (MNA) – Armenia will not sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan without negotiating security guarantees for Nagorno-Karabakh, said the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, Armen Grigoryan.
“There is no question that agreements to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh issue need to be reached, and our understanding with our international partners is that the peace treaty could be finalized if there is progress on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, if there are guarantees of ensuring [the Karabakh Armenians’] security and rights, and if Armenia is certain that there will be no ethnic cleansing in Karabakh,” Grigoryan told Azatutyun.am., according to Massispost website.
Grigoryan said that such guarantees could include the establishment of a “demilitarized zone” around Karabakh or “international presence” in the Armenian-populated territory. He indicated that Baku and Yerevan have reached no agreements on that so far.
Grigoryan said that the Azerbaijani side is not interested in negotiating in good faith. He pointed to the March 5 armed incident near Stepanakert which left three Karabakh police officers and two Azerbaijani soldiers dead.
Armenian forces took control of Karabakh in a war that gripped the region as Soviet rule was collapsing in the early 1990s. Azerbaijan recaptured large swathes of territory in a six-week conflict in 2020 that ended with a truce and the dispatch of Russian peacekeepers, who remain in the region.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have met several times as part of efforts to resolve the conflict, but periodic violence has hurt peace efforts.