Armenia Offers Peace Treaty Project to Azerbaijan

Armenia has presented to arch-foe Baku a project for a full peace treaty to end the Caucasus neighbors’ decades-long dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday.

The two countries have fought two wars for control of Azerbaijan’s Armenian-populated enclave that have claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Internationally-mediated peace talks between the ex-Soviet republics have since produced little if any result.

Pashinyan said Yerevan had completed on Wednesday “another stage of working on a project of a peace treaty and on establishing (diplomatic) relations” with Baku.

“A project of a comprehensive agreement had been handed to Azerbaijan,” he told a cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

“The document has to be acceptable to Azerbaijan… its signing must bring about a lasting peace.”

The announcement came after Yerevan accused Baku of conducting a “policy of ethnic cleansing” and forcing ethnic Armenians to leave the breakaway region.

Since mid-December, a group of self-styled Azerbaijani environmental activists has barred the only road linking Karabakh to Armenia to protest what they say is illegal mining.

According to Yerevan, the blockade has led to a “full-blown humanitarian crisis” in the mountainous region which faces shortages of food, medicines, and fuel.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, ethnic Armenian separatists in Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan. The ensuing conflict claimed around 30,000 lives.

Another flare-up in violence in 2020 left more than 6,500 dead and ended with a Russian-brokered truce that saw Armenia cede territories it had controlled for decades.

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