Pashinyan presents “Crossroads of Peace,” pursuing regional connectivity

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan’s speech during the Silk Road International Conference in Tbilisi (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia)

YEREVAN—Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the “Silk Road” international conference in Tbilisi on October 26, along with other high-ranking officials and representatives from various countries and international organizations, where he presented Armenia’s “Crossroads of Peace” project, emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation and connectivity.

PM Pashinyan began by highlighting the historical significance of the Silk Road, symbolizing prosperity, peace and cooperation among nations. Pashinyan stressed the vital role of open roads in building and maintaining peace, stating that the South Caucasus region, including Armenia, needs peace, open borders, and strong economic, political and cultural ties.

The “Crossroads of Peace” project, according to Pashinyan, aims to enhance communication between Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran through infrastructure development, including roads, railways, pipelines, cables and electricity lines. He pointed out that some regional railways and highways have been inactive for 30 years, and reactivating them could establish efficient routes connecting the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean.

Pashinyan invited governments and private investors to consider the project, emphasizing its potential benefits for all countries in the region. He stated that all infrastructures would operate under the sovereignty of the countries through which they pass, with border and customs control ensured by each country, promoting reciprocity and equality. This approach appears to be a direct response to Azerbaijan’s demand for control over the “Zangezur corridor.”

The operation of the “Zangezur transit corridor” remains a top priority for Azerbaijan. Baku’s goal is to establish transit between Azerbaijan and its Nakhichevan exclave, which requires access to the “Zangezur corridor” through Armenia. Azerbaijan aims for minimal security checks, tariffs and transit fees, potentially pressuring Armenia into accepting its terms.

The Armenian PM also discussed Armenia’s readiness to work on peace and normalization agreements with Azerbaijan, emphasizing mutual recognition of territorial integrity and border delimitation based on the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration. 

Pashinyan underlined the alignment of the “Crossroads of Peace” project with the Silk Road’s logic and expressed Armenia’s readiness to facilitate safe transportation of people, vehicles, goods and infrastructure. 

On the other hand, Azerbaijani officials like Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Azerbaijan Hikmet Hajiyev recently confirmed that military annexation of the “Zangezur corridor” is “no longer their objective.” Instead, according to Hajiyev, Azerbaijan is focusing on building transportation connections through Iran. Construction of a new road in partnership with Iran has already begun. However, the possibility of maintaining a transport link between Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan through Armenia still depends on Armenia’s willingness, without extraterritorial concessions, to allow Azerbaijan to bypass Armenian border controls, Hajiyev said.

Following this reasoning, Aliyev issued a decree regarding the ongoing efforts to link the Horadiz-Jabrail-Zangilan-Agband highway with Iran and the construction of a bridge over the Araz River. The State Highway Agency has been allocated 14 million manats from the presidential reserve fund for these initiatives.

As Pashinyan flip-flops Armenia’s diplomatic relationships with its traditional allies such as Russia and introduces what he sees as novel concepts, Azerbaijan’s decision to abstain from engaging in discussions aimed at advancing the peace process and its ongoing military maneuvers alongside Turkey, its closest ally, imply that Azerbaijan lacks the desire to reach a peaceful settlement. Such an agreement, according to Pashinyan, should ideally be grounded in three fundamental principles: the mutual acknowledgment of each other’s territorial integrity, the delineation and marking of borders as per the Alma-Ata Declaration, and the opening of all regional communications under the sovereign authority of the concerned parties.

All the while, state representatives and international organizations such as the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention and Stratfor Forecasting Inc. have warned of new escalations in the region. 

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has issued a Red Flag Alert regarding the potential for Azerbaijan to invade Armenia, particularly its southern Syunik Province. This invasion could be driven by the desire to create a land corridor connecting Azerbaijan to Nakhichevan, a goal shared with Turkey, posing a significant threat to Armenia’s territorial integrity. Recent political developments, including the seizure of Artsakh by Azerbaijan and well-established Armenophobia in the region, raise concerns about a potential genocide. These fears stem from a pattern of massacre, atrocity and forced displacement targeting Armenian identity.

Despite the potential risks, there is a growing concern that Azerbaijan might resort to force. Several factors contribute to this possibility, including Azerbaijan’s military advantage, belief in a limited international response, distractions in the global community and President Ilham Aliyev’s confidence in military success.

Stratfor reports that Azerbaijan is more likely to pursue smaller territorial incursions and cross-border shelling to pressure Armenia into an agreement, rather than a full-scale invasion to seize southern Armenia and establish the “Zangezur corridor” by force. Recent statements and missed meetings between Armenian and Azerbaijani officials reflect growing tensions and divergent geopolitical orientations.

Azerbaijan could continue with smaller-scale incursions and shelling, considering that a full-scale invasion could lead to greater risks and complications. Azerbaijan already maintains alternative transit routes and would risk regional stability, Turkish support and international consequences by launching a major invasion.

Armenia and Azerbaijan’s leaders have not met for significant discussions since July, and both countries appear to be aligning with different geopolitical partners. Armenia’s Prime Minister Pashinyan signaled a desire to reorient Armenia’s foreign policy toward the West during an address to the European Parliament on October 17, while Azerbaijan seeks regional support for its vision of a peace settlement, including from Turkey, Russia and Iran. 

Given the factors mentioned above, the world appears to face conflicting viewpoints and disagreements at a critical “crossroad,” making it challenging to evaluate the current and future developments. As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced, “This marks a pivotal moment for the region. We are on the verge of either a major conflict or significant peace.”

Hoory Minoyan

Hoory Minoyan

Hoory Minoyan was an active member of the Armenian community in Los Angeles until she moved to Armenia prior to the 44-day war. She graduated with a master's in International Affairs from Boston University, where she was also the recipient of the William R. Keylor Travel Grant. The research and interviews she conducted while in Armenia later became the foundation of her Master’s thesis, “Shaping Identity Through Conflict: The Armenian Experience.” Hoory continues to follow her passion for research and writing by contributing to the Armenian Weekly.


  1. No to any “corridor” through Armenia. This passage according to Aliyev and Erdogan should be built and run without control on behalf of Armenia. Means , Turks will be free to pass trough the passage with no border control on behalf of Armenia . The territory is Armenian and should be controlled by Armemia otherwise Turks will have the advantage to carry armaments and little by little to establish their sovereignty over the region. They will cut the link between Armenia and Iran . Armenia, Iran, The EU, France and other countries like India are against Turks taking over the Siunic region of Armenia. This is territorial integrity and no country in the world has the right to demand such concessions.

    • Russia to control Armenia and limit it’s ancient links with Iran, Israel to hobble Armenia and stymie Iran although right now has matters closer to home to attend to, and obviously Turkey and Azerbaijan are all for it although Georgia probably not so keen as it will lead to less importance as a go between Turkey and Azerbaijan . It’s likely that Azerbaijan will encourage Armenia to accede and use force if it doesn’t get its way. It’s all too late now but the great mistake was not to seek a settlement from a position of strength and prevaricated until it was clear in 2020 it was lost.


    • @Truth Armenian

      Unfortunately, Pashinyan talks and looks like a carpet salesman. He has very greasy morals and is open for sale.

      Undoubtedly, he is being paid by the Americans.

      If Armenia wants to have a future, it must get rid of Pashinyan.

    • Armenia is not in the position to control any road which will be used by turks or azeris – they will use force and occupy Armenian territory very easily. Their feet shouldnt be allowed on Armenian spoil – period.

  3. Attention readers Azerbaijan demands Armenia return Soviet Azeri era enclaves within Armenia in an ultimatum – watch this space!
    I warned in September that Azerbaijan was poised to attack what was left of Arktash and this has come to pass

  4. After all the losses, destruction, incompetence and treasonous behavior why is this man still in charge? His track record speaks for itself: He alone weakened Armenia’s security and military structure. HE himslef lost the war. He declared Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan. Imagine that? He sat back and watched Artsakh was it starved and then just watched as they fled for their lives and yet did nothing. He cannot be trusted to protect Armenia and its interests or its future. He lacks any understanding of politics, understanding of the region and has no military prowess to protect it and its interests. He is vindictive to criticism and refuses to take any responsibility and worse, purposely ignores the powerful Diaspora as Armenia’s true and only supporting, uniting resource, which is what Armenia lacks and needs most. What disaster this man has brought to the Armenian nation. Unless Armenia wants more loss, more deaths and further isolation and capitulation as his only “foreign policy” option, this man needs to be rid.

    • He is in charge because the Armenian people voted him in, twice. The second time after the planned and treasonous war.
      An uneducated, ignorant population doesn’t deserve the right to vote. They bring the fate of the whole country down to their pathetic level.
      He is also in charge because a very large contingent of police, internal security forces, intelligence forces and military are more interested in their bloated salaries than the fate of their homeland.
      Welcome to the reality of post-independence Armenia, carefully engineered over the last 30 years due to massive funding of NGOs by Western and turish interests.

    • @ Gurgen2, Yes agreed but also blame the last 2 Presidents that were thieves that stole elections and were all too happy watching 1/3 of the population leave the country. They lined their pockets and robbed the nation. THAT IS WHY the country voted for a useless implanted traitor like Pashinyan, who BTW professed that “Artsakh was and always is Armenia” while running for PM. ALL LIES. Unfortunately Armenia was so bad and intolerable under Sargsyan and Kocharyan that the country was ready and wanted change. So it blindly voted in this useless incompetent. His first order was ridding all the seasoned generals and army staff. He wanted to lose the war. He also hates Artsakh and its people. That is how stupid he is.

      Please understand: The answer is and always was Armenian UNITY. One Armenia, Artsakh and Diaspora all working as one army nation. That would truly scare the enemies of Armenia. No more tribalism. No more divisions. No more thieves lining their pockets. No more useless traitors at the helm. Hopefully we get that before its too late.

  5. @Monte Melkonian,
    It’s interesting that you used the pseudonym of that legend. If you read any of Monte’s writings he clearly disagreed with what you are saying. Monte always believed that unity for unity’s sake never works. He believed that there can only be unity around a belief or political ideology. I agree with him. It’s not good enough to push unity, there must be unity around a value. In our case the most appropriate one would be revenge, a carefully planned, state sanctioned revenge, first against all the internal traitors that brought us this tragedy, then the external enemy. Thats how down-trodden nations repair their pyschi and rebuild themselves. After all, theres no such a thing as a super power nation, there are only super power peoples.
    However given the materialistic and spineless nature of our people, especially those who’d rather move to Glendale and drive Mercedeces, or the idiots who’d rather pray to God and hope rather than work, I’d say its just a dream.

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