ISTANBUL (AA): Armenia’s prime minister said on Monday that Yerevan is ready to recognize “Nagorno-Karabakh” as part of Azerbaijan, provided that the security of the Armenian population in the region was ensured.
“Armenia recognizes Azerbaijan’s 86,600 square kilometers (33,436 square miles) assuming that Azerbaijan is willing to recognize the territorial integrity of Armenia’s 29,800 square kilometers (11,505 square miles). Azerbaijan’s 86,600 square kilometer territory includes Nagorno-Karabakh,” Nikol Pashinyan said during a press conference in the capital Yerevan.
Pashinyan’s comments came a week after he participated in talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev under the mediation of European Council President Charles Michel in Brussels.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, in 44 days of clashes, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation. The Russian-brokered peace agreement was celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan further said that Armenia’s potential withdrawal from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) remains on Yerevan’s agenda, but only if the organization becomes “incompetent.”
“If Armenia de jure decides to withdraw from the CSTO, then this will happen after Armenia records that the CSTO has left Armenia. Such an agenda exists if the CSTO becomes an inactive organization. Then we will have to decide our own security issues,” Pashinyan added.
The CSTO is an intergovernmental military alliance in Eurasia consisting of six post-Soviet states: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.