Pashinyan and Aliyev to meet

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan answers questions from the press, November 23, 2021

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will meet at least twice in the coming weeks. 

The announcement of these meetings follows the deadliest outbreak of fighting since the end of the 2020 Artsakh War. The Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched an attack on the eastern border of Armenia on November 16. The fighting ended after five hours through a Russian-brokered ceasefire. 

On November 19, the Armenian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that six soldiers had been killed in the November 16 border attacks, according to available data. Casualties included senior lieutenant Taron Jivan Sahakyan (born 1990), junior sergeant Meruzhan Artur Harutyunyan (born 1991), Gurgen Ashot Sargsyan (born 1990), Artur Jivan Martirosyan (born 1998) and private David Helbert Amiryan (born 1980). 

The MoD had previously reported that one soldier had been killed. Sahakyan’s body was repatriated on November 17 through the mediation of former head of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Artsakh Rustam Muradov, who traveled to Baku to accompany the transfer of his body by plane to Yerevan. 

The MoD had also announced that 24 soldiers had gone missing and 13 were captured. However, during a press conference on November 23, Pashinyan said those 24 soldiers had also been taken prisoner by Azerbaijan. A total of 32 soldiers were captured, according to unverified information. 

“Of course we are working intensely for their return,” he said. 

According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, seven of its soldiers were killed and 10 wounded. 

The situation along the border remains tense. A 19-year-old Armenian soldier was killed on Monday by Azerbaijani fire, according to the MoD of Armenia. The Azerbaijani Armed Forces “opened fire from different caliber firearms” on Armenian positions near the village of Norabak in the Gegharkunik province. Private Suren Yurik Safaryan died of a fatal gunshot wound. The fighting lasted over one hour. 

The defense ministries of Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of opening fire in the directions of the Tavush province of Armenia and the Tovuz district of Azerbaijan on the evening of November 18. No casualties have been reported. 

Since the November 16 border attack, videos have been published online documenting physical and psychological torture of Armenian prisoners of war by Azerbaijani soldiers. The associate director of the Europe and Central Asia Division at Human Rights Watch Giorgi Gogia shared a still from one of these videos on his Twitter account.

“Abusing POWs is a war crime,” he tweeted. “Azerbaijan should investigate all possible abuses and hold those responsible to account. Particularly, as some of the soldiers perpetrate the abuse with pride and don’t even hide their faces. Azerbaijan is also bound by absolute prohibition on torture and other degrading treatment.”

While the videos have not yet been independently verified by Human Rights Watch, Gogia wrote that they depict physical violence against Armenian POWs and other insults against their dignity. 

Pashinyan and Aliyev plan to meet on the sidelines of the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels on December 15 to discuss “ways of overcoming tensions” in the region. The meeting was arranged by European Council President Charles Michel, who held separate phone calls with the two leaders on November 19.

“Leaders have agreed to meet in Brussels to discuss the regional situation and ways of overcoming tensions for a prosperous and stable South Caucasus, which the EU supports,” a press release by the European Council reads

The press release also states that Pashinyan and Aliyev had agreed to establish a direct line of communication between the defense ministries “to serve as an incident prevention mechanism.” 

During Tuesday’s press conference, Pashinyan said that the line of communication had already been established. While Azerbaijan deserves criticism for its aggression toward Armenia, Pashinyan said he “appreciates the decision by the president of Azerbaijan” to establish a direct line of communication between the defense ministries, calling the connection “valuable.”

“Our perception, which also proceeds from the general situation, is that contacts between representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan should be more frequent so that we can settle different situations, find solutions and try to avoid crises,” he said. 

The Kremlin also announced a meeting between the two leaders arranged by Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

“It is planned to review the implementation of the agreements of the leaders of the three countries of November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021, as well as outline further steps to strengthen stability and establish peaceful life in the region. Special attention will be paid to the restoration and development of trade, economic and transport ties,” the press release from the Kremlin reads

The trilateral summit will take place in Sochi on November 26, “timed to coincide with the anniversary of the ceasefire.” Putin will also hold separate talks with Pashinyan and Aliyev. 

The PM’s office reports that it has accepted a new proposal for demarcation and delimitation of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border from the MoD of Russia. According to Pashinyan, Armenia has accepted three proposals regarding border demarcation and delimitation since May. Baku has not publicly commented on such a proposal. 

“There is an impression that a paper will be signed [at the trilateral meeting] regarding the outcomes of demarcation and delimitation. Such a thing is not possible,” Pashinyan said during the Tuesday press conference, his first in over a year. “The possible agreement will concern the formation of a commission by Armenia and Azerbaijan that will start the work of demarcation and delimitation. That paper will not note where the border will pass.”

Pashinyan and Aliyev were previously expected to meet in early November. Armenian and Russian media outlets reported that Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia would announce a new trilateral agreement, one year after the announcement of the ceasefire on November 9, 2020. 

On November 8, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that while “work is underway to prepare for such a meeting,” there were “no clear agreements and understandings” about the timing of the meeting. 

Pashinyan confirmed during Tuesday’s press conference that an online trilateral meeting had been proposed for November 9. 

“I have said directly that November 9 is a difficult and bitter date for us, but if we can resolve the prisoner issue, for example, I am prepared to participate in that online conference,” he said. 

When it became clear that substantive problems could not be resolved, the meeting was rescheduled to November 15, and then to November 26, according to Pashinyan. 

In response to the question of why he and Aliyev decided to meet outside of the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, Pashinyan said that he expects that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will arrange a meeting between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

“I don’t think it is right to have big expectations from every specific meeting—be they negative or positive. One should not expect any quick results. There is tension in our region, and in order to overcome this tension, we must negotiate,” he said.

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian is a staff writer for the Armenian Weekly. Her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hetq and the Daily Californian. She is pursuing master’s degrees in Journalism and Near Eastern Studies at New York University. A human rights journalist and feminist poet, Lillian's first poetry collection Journey to Tatev was released with Girls on Key Press in spring of 2021.

20 Comments

  1. Pashinyan = Pasha of Revan :)
    Sultan Erdogan I is pleased.

    But in all seriousness though I can not stand this clown just as much as I can’t stand Erdogan who says things like “I wrote the book on economy management”. Lira is 13 for 1 USD. It changes hourly now. Freefall.

  2. Little Rat and Giant Lizard to meet. Orders from pro-Azeri Manlet Putin?

    I was previously fooled into believing that the so-called “Yerevantsi” was proud and patriotic. Only a feckless, unpatriotic and undignified people would tolerate such a loser and embarrassment to the nation to represent them.

    There are people in Armenia who can save the nation, but unfortunately they are the ones without power and don’t have leadership. Out of Little Rat’s thousand strong bodyguard not a single one of them has enough patriotic sentiments to do the right thing for the good of the nation? NOT A SINGLE ONE????

  3. How about having a meeting with all world wide DIASPORA organizations on what is needed and implement a world wide unified effort to strengthen Armenia’s militarily, technology, economic and political strength. Unfortunately I, as most, trust this man ZERO. Hes a proven incompetent loser and a liar who has a treasonous tendency. I don’t expect anything good for Armenia while hes in charge.

  4. The Russians are playing games. They are supposedly controlling and keeping the borders under control. What has happened? they have not done a thing. Where is that useless UN, who have done absolutely NOTHING to stop the madness of the azeries, aliyev and his cohorts? they have done NOTHING. Where are the individual European countries who profess all the things they seem to profess. Where is the US, the UK? what about that mob called “ISRAEL” who have done nothing to eradicate the issues but are still supplying arms to the azeries. This is the same MOB that had the world confront Germany with regards to what happened to them during the 2nd World War and yet are still manufacturing and selling the arms to the madman aliyev and his mad army. Where are you Israel? are you still not satisfied with what you have done in this area? It is a high time Israel wakes up and immediately puts a stop to what they are doing in this area. Shame on them, the UN and everybody else.

    • Robert,

      Would you have preferred it if Russians did not stop the fighting? Maybe you did not know but the fighting stopped when Moscow rushed units from the 102nd Base to stand between Armenian and Azeri troops. Nikol’s government on the other hand did not even mobilize Armenia’s armed forced when the fighting began. Right now there are Russian troops risking their lives holding the line between Armenians and Azeris. But that’s not enough for you? So, what exactly do you want Russians to do, go to war against Baku and do so for a Western funded government that is quite openly in bed with Baku? Have you given any of this a thought?

    • What an amusing and funny appeal to the UN, US, UK, Israel and the rest of the world!
      Wasn’t it the same Armenia who ignored 4 UNSC Resolutions to free the captured Azerbaijani territories? You thought that right is might. Now it backfires on you, guys. Unless you realize that internationaly recognized borders of Azerbaijan (Karabakh included) must be respected, Azerbaijan will not recognize your borders either. What goes around, comes around. Armenia should finally restore normal relations with its immediate neighbours, unless it wans to move to the diaspora completely. Bitter truths are sometimes life saving.

    • Sorry, Armenia’s position was “might is right” as opposed to Azerbaijan’s “right is might”. Yet, Armenia’s might came from the then Russia of the early 1990’s/ Now it is different Russia, and Azerbaijan has enough might to prove Armenia that “right is might’.

    • @ Fuad. Azerbaijan is A made up fictitious gas station Zionist banking funded country that is occupying historical ARMENIAN AND IRANIAN LANDS PRETENDING that is currently run by Asian invading Turkish tribes with a criminal self installed despot family as its historical “leader”. Its a sham of a country. That’s what needs to be “respected”? It violates its own people. Its a criminal state. Its needs to be brought to justice. This war isn’t over. Eventually the Armenian clown pretending to be PM traitor will be gone and this will continue.

  5. The number of casualties and POWs is different in every publication. It is difficult to know who to trust. Also, why are there so many POWs when some Armenian news media say we have driven the enemy back and caused many Azeri casualties? Some news articles say we are getting modern American and French weapons. Other news articles say we are setting up a specialist army. Why then the constant loss of Armenian territory and soldiers? Why all these POWs? Why not Azeri POWs? Nothing seems to be making sense. If Pashinyan is a traitor why the constant fighting and loss of our beloved soldiers? Why hasn’t he handed over territory without loss of lives? It just does not add up. Two days ago I read Putin has said Karabakh is Azeri while today I read he is re-arming the Armenian army. I realise some of this is politics but how much?

    • The Prisoners of War are a consequence of “Rules of Engagement” that Armenians are told from the top not to fire on Azerbaijani soldiers. The majority of POW’s are a consequence of Armenia’s leadership depriving the military members with the inherent right to self defence. During the 2020 war there were 3 attempts at a ceasefire, each time the Azerbaijani side took full advantage of Armenians being ordered not to shoot. The enemy of All Armenians are Turks, and when Armenians forget, the Turks will remind them.

    • During past 3 decades, when Armenia & Artsakh were winning battles & wars, Armenian News Sources were spotlessly reliable, in regards to trouble with Azerbaijan; but, that all changed with the 2020 War, because Armenian News Sources and spokespeople essentially lied, and pretended to be winning last year’s war. Pretending that all was well, censoring & lying about a war that went bad, set a new trend of dishonesty, coming out of the government of Armenia, as well as the news sources from Armenia. I believed it, because news sources about the conflict were rather trustworthy in the past, but the lying, censoring and general dishonesty, from Armenia, in 2020, made me look like a gullible fool. That probably explains a lot of the outrage from the Armenian Public, after Armenia capitulated in November, 2020.

    • yes. After one year there still is no real accounting of the war. And there wont be one. It would expose the fraud that the loser in chief is. It would show hes either purely a traitor or the most incompetent operative ever. he purposely thwarted the army as he does today. Orders not to shoot. Orders not to retaliate. Orders not to mobilize. And anyone Army leader that does is quickly replaced. He doesn’t want to win. Hes a traitor. He wants to lose yet seem like hes doing everything he can. the war information was one lie after another. Hes a danger to Armenia’s future.

  6. Such a shame that all the blame is placed on one person. Since 1991, what has Armenia done with all the funding sent? Why are there more Armenians outside of Armenia than inside? What is making them leave and hardly any return?

    Unfortunately this war was inevitable and this time it was not two countries fighting each other but several fighting Armenia both directly and indirectly. Take accountability and look at successful countries to learn how to develop and progress within its means.

    Either Armenia strives to do well given how it has been since 1991 or it cannot complain. Do not put the whole blame on the current PM, lately that is all every one is doing. Might as well place the death of Michael Jackson on him too.

    • @Maria. You want to talk about funding sent? What funding specifically and how much? Explain the $150mn that was raised in a matter of weeks by many of us for the non-profit fund and appropriated by the Pashinyan government without a trace or an audit. Where’s the money? Can you tell us what it’s being used for because we sent it for a specific purpose.

      Why are there more Armenians outside than inside. You do need a history lesson going back a few hundred years, and you must not have heard of the Genocide either.

      This war was not inevitable. And neither were the lies that were fed to us during the war and after. You choose to follow a liar and you will perish.

  7. I just do not understand how come the entire population of armenia cannot find a single bullet and finish this idiot off once and for all. Why do we have to do all the business and in return we get nothing, not a single representative in the government, not a single business, not a single diasporan officer, its always them and their problems. He did not even mobilise the proper army during the war….

    • Little Pashinyan is Putin’s operative, and also the natural successor to the two villagers from Artsakh, Kocharyan & Sargsyan. The two villagers who knew that back-stabbing Putin wanted to give Armenian lands to the Turks and use that as an excuse for occupation, so they put on a show to show the world how Pashinyan was able to seize power in an unprecedented peaceful operation where “democracy won” so as to get approval from the USA and Europe.

      Meanwhile it was all scripted from the beginning, so that the “nakhkinner” wouldn’t go down in Armenia’s history as traitors, especially since they already all got rich from gullible diaspora money over the years and just needed a loser off the streets who was looking to get rich and didn’t care about going down in Armenia’s history as a traitor.

      The “Mother Russia is the best” hacks that show up here and elsewhere on social media claiming that “Russia had to save Armenia because Pashinyan is a Sorosakan” or some such B.S. are engaged in a Russian psyop in an attempt to fool us into accepting their program of a century-old Russian policy: sacrifice Armenia to appease the Turk.

      That is what I got from this whole stinking episode, including your last comment of why Armenia never declared war, or recognized Artsakh, or mobilized the army.

    • Zartir, generally the simplest explanation is the right one. It’s most likely that Pash just wanted to rid of lands for peace and posperity without an uprising. I experienced the full force of Russian trolling myself when the Su-24 was shot down years back. They use American, German, etc flags and names like Tom, Steve, Hans to seem like the peoples are on Russian side. They demanded compensation for WW2 while they were at it. Brutal experience. They all went quiet the hour Erdogan apoligized to Putin. All of a sudden it was what pilot? Anyways this site has a few Russia lovers but don’t think they are trolls. Some people just have different views based on the information they received, upbringing, etc. Couple of things… Russia only cares about Russia, Russia will take the side of Turks over Armenians anyday of the week as we have much more to offer them. Turkey is full of Russians man. We even have Kremlin hotels. Its a sad fact that Armenians are just not wanted in the area. You have no friends. Move to Australia and prosper. Plenty of room here. A lot of scientists I admire are Armenian.

  8. Highly amusing how you posters sit back from the other side of the globe and point fingers. Get over yourselves.

    Out of a diaspora of 6m, how many volunteered to fight? How many are volunteering right now? 100? 200? Mostly from the ARF organisations.
    It would be great to see reports from AW from these brave volunteers by the way.

    You can type Pashik or Pashoglu as many times as you want, you are irrelevant.

    Move to Armenia, be the change you want to see. And before anyone barks “wHy ShOUlD wE hElp PaShIk?” A). It’s supposed to be your country B) why didn’t you move when the oligarchy was strangling the country?

    All those keyboard warrior snakes who talk about assassinating the democratically elected leader perhaps should volunteer to strengthen border points in syunik or help rehabilitation centres for veterans in Armenia…that’s if they can stop going to In N Out and cruising glen oaks…

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