ARF Bureau issues statement regarding the process of normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and resulting agreement

Following the ongoing negotiation process between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and upon assessing the statements of the high-ranking officials of both countries, we note:

  • In the process of the effort to agree on a document under discussion, Azerbaijan, on the one hand, seeks to de jure affirm what it has attained through the use of force and the threat of force—regarding the annexation of Artsakh through ethnic cleansing carried out by genocidal acts and the occupation of some territories of Armenia—while maintaining the possibility of extracting other concessions from Armenia.
  • In fact, with such a document, Azerbaijan is trying to put an end to the issue of Artsakh. Moreover, the threats to Armenia are increasing. The Republic of Armenia is not receiving any additional guarantees to ensure its security, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and the unblocking of transport routes, and no effective mechanisms are being created to prevent further hostile actions by Azerbaijan, including military aggression.

Under these circumstances and considering the existing realities, the normalization of relations based on the protection of national-state interests should proceed at least according to the following principles:

  1. In order to create an atmosphere of trust, consider as prerequisites the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, the return of all prisoners of war and detained persons, the resolution to existing humanitarian problems and the preservation of cultural heritage.
  2. In order to establish lasting peace, it is necessary for the given agreement to be a comprehensive document for the regulation of relations, to respect the legitimate interests of the parties and to include solutions to the totality of issues subject to agreement.
  3. No agreement should endanger the imprescriptible and inalienable rights of the Armenian people and must exclude vital concessions and losses by clearly fixing our interests in accordance with the current RA constitutional and legal, as well as international, norms and diplomatic practice.
  4. The basis of delimitation and demarcation should be the actual borders of the Azerbaijan Republic at the time of its accession to the CIS (September 24, 1993). The delimitation and demarcation between the two countries must comply with best international practices and norms and must be based on the UN “Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties” (1969), the “Helsinki Final Act” (1975) and the conceptual norms of the OSCE Secretariat’s document “Delimitation and Demarcation of State Boundaries: Challenges and Solutions” (2017), including the principle that any international agreement reached through the use of force or threat of force is null and void.
  5. Complete and simultaneous lift the blockades of transport and other means of communication, without any restriction of sovereignty.
  6. Until the final political settlement of the Artsakh issue and the full realization of the fundamental rights of the people of Artsakh, the collective, unhindered, and safe return of Artsakh Armenians to the homeland, based on full respect of the rights of those who were oppressed and forcibly displaced as a result of ethnic cleansing must be ensured.

A prerequisite for return should be observed:
– Provision of intermediate status for Artsakh, ensuring to the full extent the civil and political rights of Artsakh Armenians guaranteed by international norms,
– Providing effective security guarantees for the people of Artsakh, including the deployment of peacekeeping forces,
– Ensuring unhindered land connection with Armenia.

Any document signed without the observance of these principles will not contribute to the establishment of peace and stability in the region but will validate the precedent of resolving issues by the use of force or the threat of force.

Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun Bureau
5 February 2024

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