After decades of animosity, several wars, tens of thousands of dead or injured, and long hours of negotiations, Armenia and Azerbaijan are set to start the process to conclude a peace treaty between them. The foreign ministers of the two countries will meet in Geneva on Sunday (2 October) to start the discussions in earnest.
Speaking in an interview on Armenian public television on Friday (30 September), Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan said that the basis of the agreement should be the mutual recognition of territorial integrity by the two countries.
In response to a question as to what concessions Armenia was ready to make and why, the Prime Minister said that the issue of conceding or not is very relative.
"The Republic of Armenia has an area 29,800 square kilometers, because the internationally recognized border of the Republic of Armenia is 29,800 square kilometers.
Pashinyan said that some may believe that the territory of Armenia is actually 300 thousand square kilometers, and we should not recognize any borders until we reach 300 thousand square kilometers. "There are people here who think so too. Some may consider it a rejection, if one may say so, of the idea of "Armenia from Sea to Sea" and therefore it is a betrayal. Can there be such people? There can be and there are such people. But we say the following, that the basis of the peace treaty, in our understanding, should be - and it is logical, - Mutual recognition of territorial integrity by Armenia and Azerbaijan. If Azerbaijan recognizes our territorial integrity, which is based on the 1991 agreement to create the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on December 18, we are ready to proceed to the mutual recognition of territorial integrity on that basis".
The Armenian prime minister siad in the interview that the minister of foreign affairs will go to Geneva and meet with the minister of foreign affairs of Azerbaijan, where, substantive negotiations on the drafting of the text of the peace treaty should begin.