Azerbaijan submits peace treaty proposals to Armenia

Tripartite meeting between Nikol Pashinyan, Olaf Scholz and Ilham Aliyev in Munich on Feb. 17, 2024 (Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia)

YEREVAN—Armen Grigoryan, Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, confirmed today that Azerbaijan has submitted its version of a peace treaty to Armenia.

“Following our response on January 4, Azerbaijan has submitted its version, and we are currently working on it. I believe that if the foreign ministers meet soon, they will discuss the peace agreement,” Grigoryan said.

Grigoryan clarified that the EU civilian monitoring mission, which is deployed along the Armenian side of the border, does not have access to the Nerkin Hand region, where the recent border incident occurred. Four Armenian soldiers were killed in an Azerbaijani attack on Nerkin Hand, Syunik on February 13, the most intense escalation along the border in months. Grigoryan emphasized that Armenia remains committed to resolving the issue through diplomatic means and reiterated Armenia’s commitment to a mirror withdrawal of troops from the border.

Grigoryan also addressed the issue of armament acquired by Azerbaijan. He proposed the implementation of arms control mechanisms to establish stability and long-term peace in the region. He emphasized that Armenia is actively diversifying its security and foreign policy and is committed to finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict through diplomatic channels.

This news follows a meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Munich on February 17 with the mediation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz within the framework of the Munich Security Conference. The meeting, which was the first between the two leaders since last July, was held to discuss the ongoing conflict between the two countries over Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh and the peace deal that continues to linger.

According to Azerbaijan’s APA news agency, Scholz left the room at some point, and the meeting continued in a bilateral format between Pashinyan and Aliyev. Afterwards, the sides expressed satisfaction with the meeting but offered few specifics on a way forward. 

One of the main reasons for their failure to meet has been disagreement over who should mediate, particularly since Azerbaijan’s seizure of Artsakh in September and the exodus of the region’s Armenian population. Armenia has favored mediation by the EU and U.S. Azerbaijan first expressed preference for authoritarian regional powers Russia and Turkey and then began rejecting all outside mediation.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have met in bilateral format several times, however, to discuss border delimitation in November and a prisoner exchange in December. Armenia has not explicitly rejected bilateral talks on a comprehensive peace deal, though its preference for Western mediation is evident, as it seeks closer ties with the EU and U.S. and attempts to move away from its traditional strategic partner Russia.

The Aliyev-Pashinyan-Scholz meeting took place just four days following the latest escalation on the border with Azerbaijan on February 13.

In the latest incident, Azerbaijan claimed that its troops had come under fire from an Armenian army position in the southern Syunik region on February 12, resulting in the wounding of one Azerbaijani soldier. The Armenian Defense Ministry promptly announced that it would conduct an investigation. The following day, Azerbaijan launched what it called a “revenge operation,” subjecting the Armenian post to intensive fire for four hours, killing four soldiers and wounding another.

During a government meeting on February 15, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan expressed concerns about Azerbaijan’s intentions along the border. “Our analysis shows that Azerbaijan wants to launch military action in some parts of the border with the prospect of turning military escalation into a full-scale war against Armenia,” Pashinyan stated. “This intention can be read in all statements and actions of Azerbaijan.”

After his meeting with Aliyev, on February 18 Pashinyan said the two countries’ foreign ministers would meet soon for peace talks. It is not clear whether or not any mediators will be present. Aliyev, meanwhile, called his meeting with Pashinyan “constructive and useful.” He declared that there is “de facto peace in the region” and expressed readiness to sign a peace treaty.

At the same time, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reiterated Baku’s demand that Armenia revise its constitution and other laws to remove all references to Artsakh.

Following the Munich meeting, Scholz stated that the sides agreed to resolve their differences without violence. No details about any specific agreements were made public. 

On the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also met with Pahinyan and Aliyev separately, expressing support for the peace process. During his meeting with Aliyev, Blinken “raised the importance of Azerbaijan adhering to its international commitments and obligations regarding human rights.”

While the two countries’ leaders maintain that they have agreed on the main principles of the peace treaty, the sides voice disagreement over almost all of the parts of the deal, including the opening of the transport links, border delimitation and demarcation, and Aliyev’s bold declaration that Armenia must amend its constitution if it wishes to achieve peace with Azerbaijan. Aliyev emphasized that Armenia’s current constitution contains provisions that supposedly challenge Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

The crux of the issue lies in Armenia’s Declaration of Independence, which calls for the unification of Artsakh with Armenia, as well as international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. These references have been a point of contention in the ongoing peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Regarding the principles for a peace treaty, Armenia and Azerbaijan have discussed recognizing each other’s territorial integrity, with the latest USSR and Almaty declaration maps used for the demarcation of the borders, and opening regional infrastructure based on the respective country’s legislation and jurisdiction. Azerbaijan, however, demands a corridor through Armenia connecting mainland Azerbaijan with its exclave Nakhchivan to be controlled by Russian border troops and without Armenian customs or border checks.

Amidst Azerbaijan’s outward display of peace on the international stage, the country’s Defense Ministry has announced the commencement of a training session for reservists, in line with the 2024 training plan approved by Minister of Defense Zakir Hasanov. The reservists, after undergoing registration and medical examination at the assembly point, have been equipped with military uniforms and other essential supplies.

The training session is designed to elevate combat proficiency, military acumen and practical experience of the reservists, according to the Defense Ministry. It also aims to acquaint reservists with the latest weaponry and military equipment in the army’s arsenal.

While Azerbaijan’s rhetoric on the international stage may suggest a commitment to peace, its actions at home raise questions about its true intentions. The timing of the reservist training session, coming on the heels of a recent escalation on the border with Armenia, suggests that Baku may be preparing for a new round of hostilities rather than seeking genuine peace. This dichotomy between words and actions underscores the complexity of the situation and the challenges facing the region in achieving a lasting 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.
Hoory Minoyan

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  1. Russia will prefer to give Armenia to Azerbiajan or Turkey before ceeding to the West, Pashinian should calculate more than 100 times before taking any step, I believe as usual Armenia is going after the West when the West is a sinking Titanic.

    • The last two world leaders who thought that the world leaders that believed that the West was a “Titanic” were Hitler and Emperor Hirohito. Look what that belief got them.

    • Pashinyan was put in place in an Orange Revolution and is a tool of the US. Any great power would react badly to a coupe on their border. It is basic stuff I had hoped the Hye’s would have been smarter the Georgia and Ukrain.

    • Armenia does not belong to Russia, or anyone else for that matter, to give to anyone. It is the unpatriotic conduct of the current incompetent and dysfunctional sorry excuse of a leader that make it seem so. The former KGB agent and dictator of Russia Putin wants what the Islamo-fascist Turkish terrorist-in-chief Erdogan wants and that’s why they see eye-to-eye. They both are dreaming about resurrecting their former and now-defunct empires. Putin considers all former Soviet republics as his playground and Russian territories that got away from them and Erdogan considers the former corrupt, disintegrated and defeated Ottoman empire established under the banner of Islam and Turkish fascism and maintained for several centuries by means of massacres, mass murder and genocide of the indigenous populations as his pride and joy. He even considers, as he has clearly stated many times, Jerusalem as his city.

      Furthermore, while Putin has turned his ‘brotherly’ Ukraine into rubles only under the suspicion of Ukraine contemplating to join NATO, the very same Putin with Russian military presence and bases in the South Caucasus remained only in his loyal Armenia, not only did not even lift a finger and did absolutely nothing and continues to do nothing to help protect Armenia from NATO member terrorist Turkey with genocidal past but he also turned a blind eye to Turkish military presence, hence NATO military presence by way of terrorist Turkey, in his ally Armenia’s backyard! As they say, birds of a feather flock together.

      Pashinyan should come to his senses and do the right thing and resign. He is a major liability to Armenia and Armenia’s future. Unlike Pashinyan, We need true patriotic leaders with geopolitical and military experience, like we had previous to Pashinyan’s so-called fake ‘revolution’ and seizure of the Armenian government. He claims the Armenian population elected him into office twice and has given him the mandate to do as he sees fit but contrary to what he believes or claims, neither he nor anyone else has the right to determine what does or does not belong to Armenia. Only the Armenian people people as a whole can make that decision. He has got to go!

  2. Great article as always. Please clarify what exactly it is in the Armenian constitution that is supposed to jeopardize the integrity of Azerbaijan, and why USSR maps are still being used. When working on the Birds of Armenia project, that included maps, the USSR maps were found to be inaccurate and incorrect.

  3. Comment faire la paix avec l’Azerbaïdjan qui utilisent le mensonge et la roublardise d’une façon permanente.
    Oblige une route souveraine Azerbaïdjanaise qui traverse l’Arménie.
    Exige le changement de la constitution de l’Arménie !
    Occupe un oblast Arménien qu’ils ont voté leur indépendance.
    Une compagne permanente de haine anti-arménien.
    Utilise la force d’une manière permanente.
    Monsieur Scholz, il faut revoir la copy.

  4. Turkey is using their lapdogs Azerbaijan to do its own neo-genocidal dirty work. The Zangezur corridor through the bottom of Syinuk must never leave Armenian control. Aliyev can trusted as far as he can be kicked. While kicking him seems a desirable course of action, Pashinyan must be careful to play it very straight as he searches for more meaningful support from the west. I believe, as an outsider looking in, an Australian with an Armenian-born wife – that Pashinyan is doing a brilliant job in impossible circumstances. He has been forced to say and do unpalatable things, stuck as he is being a rock and a very hard place, but he keeps his eye on the ball and Armenia remains its own country. If only the impossibly corrupt, greedy oligarchs within were on his side. But they are not and that is a part of his complex problem. Armenia, being small and relatively unimportant offers nothing in return for a Western power in this increasingly transactional world in which we live. Unlike Ukraine, which is big enough to be of interest to NATO powers for varying reasons, Armenia has neither position nor power, no oil to barter, no influence to bring to bear. Australia, as a signatory to th18 United Nations Convention for the Prevention of Genocide, should at the very minimum be calling Azerbaijan out for its neo-genocidal provocatory border behaviour. But we don’t, because we are bound by ties to Turkey that stem back our troops invading Gallipoli in 1915, a so-called ‘Special relationship’ with Turkey that was founded on the false premise of some consolidatory words Kemal allegedly (but in truth did not) direct at the bereaved mothers of dead Anzac soldiers. A Turkish lie stills our tongue, because if we acknowledged the Armenian Genocide, Erdogan would cancel our annual Gallipoli service at the site where it happened in 1915, and all hell would break loose on the Prime Minister who did that. The conservative press would have a field day and it could actually bring the government down. Turkey’s dirty work stretches across the globe in strange ways. Azerbaijan, who lauds a soldier who beheaded an Armenian, has an embassy in Canberra. Armenia does not. It disgusts me. And now the Azeris want to change Armenia’s constitution to rewrite Artsakh out of Armenian history for good. Azerbaijan is a rogue state and should be recognised as such. United Nations soldiers should be deployed to Armenian- Azeri borders with a brief to maintain order an Armenia’s sovereign rights. But it won’t happen.

  5. Armenia’s main worth is that it is now the linchpin of the Caucasus.

    Look at a map.

    Georgia and Azerbaijan are trying to get out from under Russia’s thumb.

    Their trajectory is obvious re: alliances, investments, gas and oil flow, etc.

    Georgia and Azerbaijan are just playing for time with Russia.

    Therefore, if the West “gets” Armenia it will move right into the Caucasus and Caspian.

    What is the West willing to give Armenia in return?

    I don’t see much except words, a few weapons from France notwithstanding.

    NATO and the EU want Armenia on the cheap.

    Armenia is the linchpin. Whichever direction it goes, so go the Caucasus and Caspian.

    Note: The goals of NATO/EU are basically pan-Turkic in nature though they won’t admit it.

    The West and Turkey both want deep penetration into the region – and even into Central Asia.

    • Armenia is to suspend participation in the Russian led CTSO alliance. Although Russia never pledged to safeguard Armenian interests in former Soviet Azeri Nagorno Karabakh, many Armenians thought this was merely a legalism owing to it not being part of internationally recognised Armenia and that Russia would in the event of an Azeri attack support Armenia hence partially why negotiations 1994 – 2020 failed to achieve any kind of settlement. Nevertheless the tripartite agreement of 2020 led many to view Russia as a saviour in fact all that happened is that they delayed the destruction of Arktash by nearly three years and showed their weaknesses. When Azerbaijan blocked the road connection to Armenia Russia did nothing just as it did nothing when Azerbaijan seized parts of internationally recognised Armenia and when Azerbaijan attacked the besieged remnant of Arktash Russia once again did nothing. Thus in a way Azerbaijan has demonstrated to Armenia that Russia can’t be counted on and doubts about it’s capability have grown in Armenia combined with its difficulties in Ukraine which has absorbed their energies and resources. In short Armenia and Russia need to go through as reassessment of their relationship. Armenia had misplaced confidence in Russia. Russia has a misplaced confidence that Armenia had no choice but to be aligned to them due to geography and seemingly irritractable issues with Turkey and Azerbaijan this led to a cavalier and presumptuous attitude towards Armenia. Say if Armenia kow tow to Turkey and Azerbaijan then Russia can no longer claim to be helping or saving and protecting Armenia whilst having warm relationships with Turkey and Azerbaijan whom it needs the favours of rather more than Armenia due to their geographic and economic value, yet presumably relied on Armenian insularity and desperation from vunerablity not to notice this disappointing dalliance from a nation considered Armenia main ally, let alone be dismayed and reconsider it’s relationship as a result of what has been a series of misplaced hopes expectations. The same principle applies in personal relationships one has that may falter as a result of actions or inactions not within expectations of a friendship.

  6. Instead of wasting time talking to Aliyev, a genocidal monster and pathological liar who doesn’t honor treaties Armenia should get to work on the following. First an Iron Dome similar to what Israel has that can not only intercept misses but also drones. Second install remote controlled mines along its entire border with Turkey and Azerbaijan. One potential way to fund this would be to offer Armenian citizens and diosporan Armenians the option of being buried on the Armenian border with a remote controlled mine for a fee. It would be a most meaningful way to spend eternity guarding the Armenian homeland.

  7. Regional balances will change once Ukraine war is over. Russia is making gains –though you can’t see any of it following western media. If Trump is elected, Russia may solidify the gains through a peace agreement given the lack of appetite for supporting the war in us.

    Armenia is following multiple paths in the mean time.. Rapprochement with West is good, brining French/Indian arms is good, Irans presence is a positive factor, peace agreement with Azerbiajan is good (with border demarcation), normalizing relations with Turkey is also good for economy and well being of ordinary Armenians.

    For the long term, Armenia needs Russian protection, boots on the ground. Central asians population is increasing they need an outlet to west. time is not a friend when your opponents are getting rich and more populous. I would rather be less free but safe, then free but in constant fear of enemy

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