Armenia responds to Azerbaijan’s peace proposal

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Edmon Marukyan (Facebook, October 6, 2021)

Armenia’s Roving Ambassador Edmon Marukyan has revealed the content of a six-point proposal to Azerbaijan regarding the issues that Armenia wants to put on the agenda of negotiations on a peace agreement.

The proposal mainly states that Armenia has no territorial claims on Azerbaijan. Marukyan recalled that Armenia had recognized the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in 1992 when it signed the treaty establishing the Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States.

“From the very beginning, every government in Armenia announced that we had no territorial claims,” ​​Marukyan said. mentioned during the interview on May 14.

Furthermore, the proposal indicates that guaranteeing the security and respecting the rights and freedoms of the Armenians of Artsakh and determining the final status of Artsakh are fundamental for Armenia.

The proposal also reiterates Armenia’s commitments enshrined in the trilateral agreements of November 9, 2020, January 11, 2021 and November 26, 2021 between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.

“And what are these commitments? The return of prisoners of war, which has not been done until today, and the opening of communication links, which Azerbaijan is also delaying,” Marukyan said.

In addition, the proposal indicates that Armenia is ready to start negotiations for the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of international agreements, including the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenant on Human Rights civil and political life and the Helsinki Accords.

Finally, the proposal states that Armenia has called on the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to mediate in the negotiations on a peace agreement.

The six-point proposal responds to a five-point proposal submitted by Baku in Yerevan in March regarding the principles it wants to see enshrined in a peace agreement. The five points include the mutual recognition of each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the mutual affirmation of the absence of reciprocal territorial claims and the legally binding obligation not to make such claims in the future, to refrain from threatening the security of the other, the delimitation and demarcation of the border and the unblocking of communication and transport links.

According to Marukyan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan shared a six-point proposal with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at a trilateral summit in Brussels chaired by European Council President Charles Michel on April 6. Armenian Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan did not announce that Armenia had submitted such a proposal to Azerbaijan until May 5.

“Azerbaijan’s proposed points were not unacceptable to Armenia. With its six points, Armenia proposed that there should also be a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict so that a comprehensive peace is possible. Now our approach is that these two packages, 5+6 points, must be put together to start negotiations on a peace treaty to find a long-term solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Grigoryan said.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said the six points presented by Armenia are “not a proposal”.

He also suggested that Azerbaijan is not interested in the mediation of the Minsk Group.

“This is happening at a time when there is no contact between the co-chairs of the Minsk Group in the context of events in Ukraine. This group is almost paralyzed,” Bayramov mentioned in an interview on May 10.

Armenian opposition figures have also criticized the six-point proposal for excluding an explicit position on what kind of status Armenia considers acceptable for Artsakh.

Levon Zurabyan, one of former President Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s top aides, said the proposal reveals that the Armenian government “doesn’t understand anything about diplomacy and is literally crazy.”

He specifically criticized the agreement for failing to present a concrete position on fundamental issues, such as the status of Artsakh and the mutual recognition of territorial integrity.

“Armenia has no idea what it wants to include in the peace treaty or what it wants to change in Azerbaijan’s proposals,” Zurabyan said. wrote on Facebook.

Opposition demonstrators march through Yerevan (Armenia Alliance, May 17).

Meanwhile, opposition protests demanding Prime Minister Pashinyan’s resignation continued for a third week. The two parliamentary factions of the Armenian opposition, the Armenian Alliance and the Alliance I have the honor, organized the protests in response to what they see as the government’s desire to cede Artsakh to Azerbaijan.

The protests have been marked by violent clashes between police and protesters and mass arrests. Monday, the police stopped 91 demonstrators who had staged a motorcade rally to slow down traffic in central Yerevan. Tuesday, the police stopped 414 people, the highest daily arrest record since the protests began. Protesters had blocked more than 50 streets across the capital. Police stopped 277 more people on Wednesday.

Law enforcement authorities have open criminal charges against more than a dozen protesters for hooliganism and violence against the police. On May 17, the police open a criminal case against two protesters accused of punching a policeman in the chest during a rally in Yerevan and knocking him unconscious, according to the police report.

Police arrest demonstrators in Yerevan (Armenia Alliance, May 18, 2008).

No such proceedings have been brought against police officers, despite criticism from human rights and civil society groups of violent tactics used to break up protests and make arrests.

Freedom House commented on the protests in Armenia for the first time on May 13. The US-based human rights organization said he was “troubled by the violence taking place during protests targeting journalists, public figures and ordinary citizens in Armenia”, calling on the “people to peacefully exercise their fundamental rights” and the “police to refrain from using disproportionate force”.

“The Armenian authorities and the opposition must respect the unhindered functioning of democratic institutions and human rights, including civil society and the media, necessary to guarantee the rights of all citizens in accordance with democratic norms and standards” , Freedom House tweeted.

Armenian human rights defender Kristine Grigoryan has checked in the disproportionate use of force by the police during arrests and several cases of bodily injury among protesters. Grigoryan’s office also criticized “insults and humiliation” directed at police by protesters and instances of insults and provocations against civilians who were not attending the rally.

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian is an editor for the Armenian weekly. His writing has also appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hetq, and the Daily Californian. She is pursuing a master’s degree in journalism and Near Eastern studies at New York University. A human rights journalist and feminist poet, Lillian’s debut collection of poetry, Journey to Tatev, was released with Girls on Key Press in Spring 2021.

Lillian Avedian

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