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The unblocking of regional communications shall take place under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of Armenia—and based on the principles of reciprocity and equality. Armen Grigoryan, the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, stated this in response to Armenian News-NEWS.am's question—and responding to latest statements by Hikmet Hajiyev, head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Azerbaijani presidential administration.

In an interview Thursday with the Berliner Zeitung, Hajiyev had accused Armenia of avoiding "its obligations stemming from the tripartite statement of 2020 " by introducing its Crossroads for Peace project.

According to Armen Grigoryan, Azerbaijan should publicly confirm that the principles of sovereignty, preservation of jurisdiction, reciprocity, and equality will be taken as the basis for the opening of possible communications via Armenia, after which, according to him, it will be possible to talk about more specific mechanisms.

"Armenia will continue to work towards the unblocking of regional infrastructures. Recently, the [Armenian] prime minister proposed the Crossroads of Peace project, within the framework of which additional stability and peace will be ensured in the region if the unblocking is implemented in compliance with these principles. There is also a need to work towards a peace treaty [with Azerbaijan] so that we have peace in the region. It is very important that the positions of Armenia and Iran coincide in the matter of unblocking," said Grigoryan.

When asked what Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan meant by declaring that there might be a simplified procedure to ensure a land connection between the main part of Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan through the territory of Armenia, the latter’s Security Council chief responded that this is the more technical part of the matter.

"After publicly announcing the agreement on the four principles of unblocking that I noted, we can already work on that simplification mechanism also. We have heard agreement from Azerbaijan on these principles, we expect that they will announce [it] publicly as well, and we will continue to work on clarifying the next steps," said Grigoryan.

Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev had added in the aforesaid interview that considerable progress had been made in the text of the peace treaty, but several unresolved issues remain. But Grigoryan did not give details to Armenian News-NEWS.am's question about what points there are in the latest proposals transferred from Yerevan to Baku, which the leadership of Azerbaijan considers a significant progress for them.

"We will talk about this in the future when we have clearer progress towards the peace treaty. The negotiations are going on in the sense that we are exchanging texts. Hopefully there will be an opportunity for more factual discussions soon, and as a result of them we will speak more clearly, in public," said Armen Grigoryan.

Commenting on the chances of holding a meeting between the FMs of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Washington in January, the secretary of the Security Council of Armenia said that the latter expressed readiness to participate in these peace talks in the near future and is waiting for the response of its partners.

Recently, Azerbaijan has proposed several times to separate the border delimitation and demarcation process from the signing of the peace treaty, thus trying to leave the matter of defining its border with Armenia uncertain. In that case, will it turn out that the peace treaty will be signed, but the Azerbaijani troops will continue to stay in Armenia’s territories they have occupied? In response to this question, Armen Grigoryan said that the Armenian side proposes a simultaneous withdrawal of troops—and based on the Soviet maps between 1974 and 1978.

"We are continuing the negotiations, and we hope that we will be able to reach agreements and will continue the work in this direction," concluded the secretary of the Security Council of Armenia.

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