Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has outlined three fundamental principles that, if agreed upon by Baku, would lead to the signing of a peace treaty with Azerbaijan. He made this announcement on October 4th, during a session in the National Assembly, while responding to a query from Sisak Gabrielyan, a member of the Civil Contract faction in the National Assembly.
Pashinyan stressed the importance of focusing on ensuring the continuation of the peace process based on several key principles rather than simply passing judgments in the current situation, as assessments, regardless of their objectivity, can impact the situation. These principles are not novel and have been acknowledged widely. They are documented in the statement issued by the President of the EU after the announcement made in Brussels on July 15, 2023. These three principles are as follows:
- Mutual Recognition of Territorial Integrity: Armenia and Azerbaijan must recognize each other's territorial integrity, with Armenia covering an area of 29,800 km² and Azerbaijan 86,600 km².
- Declaration of Alma-Ata as a Political Basis: The Almaty Declaration should serve as the political foundation for border delimitation and subsequent demarcation. It is crucial to reach an agreement on the basis for demarcation and delimitation before these processes commence.
- Opening of Communications: The opening of regional communications should be founded on the principles of sovereignty, jurisdiction, legislation, equality, and reciprocity among countries.
Pashinyan emphasized the significance of reaching an agreement on which maps will be used for demarcation and delimitation, suggesting that the maps from 1975 could serve as a starting point but not as an inflexible position.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the key issue lies in Azerbaijan's top officials not publicly reaffirming their commitment to these principles, which raises concerns about their actual intentions regarding Armenia's territorial integrity. Pashinyan stated that if Azerbaijan unequivocally reaffirms its dedication to these three principles, the achievement of peace could be deemed imminent. However, the absence of such a public commitment from Azerbaijan complicates the peace process.