Armenia-Azerbaijan Treaty Not Enough For Peace, Says Aliyev

Armenia-Azerbaijan Treaty Not Enough For Peace, Says Aliyev

An Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty would not be enough to preclude another war between the two countries, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said on Wednesday.

“I hope that it will not take long to reach an agreement,” Aliyev said during a forum in Baku organized by his administration. “But I want to point out that a peace treaty does not fully guarantee peace. We know of many peace treaties that were annulled and we know of countries that have lived without such treaties.”

“We know very well what is happening in Armenia and we know very well that Armenia has bad advisers in European capitals … That is why we need to have guarantees that there will be no more wars between the two countries and that Armenia fully accepts the new status quo,” he added, according to Azerbaijani media.

Aliyev did not elaborate on the safeguards against Armenian “revanchism” that would satisfy him.

Armenian leaders have said, for their part, that they want clear international guarantees for Baku’s compliance with the peace treaty. They have suggested that Aliyev is reluctant to sign the kind of agreement that would preclude Azerbaijani territorial claims to Armenia.

Aliyev twice cancelled EU-mediated talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan planned for October. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov similarly withdrew from a November 20 meeting with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan that was due to take place in Washington. Baku accused the Western powers of pro-Armenian bias and proposed direct negotiations with Yerevan.

Mirzoyan deplored Baku’s “refusal to come to meetings organized by various international actors, including the U.S. and the EU” when he addressed last week an annual conference of the top diplomats of OSCE member states. Bayramov countered that Yerevan itself is dragging out talks on the peace treaty.

Aliyev echoed that claim on Wednesday. He said that the Armenian side took more than two months to respond to most recent Azerbaijani proposals on contentious provisions of the treaty made in September. He said the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry is now examining the written replies sent by Yerevan on November 21.

“After that, it would be appropriate for the foreign ministers to meet,” he said.

The Azerbaijani leader said nothing about his next meeting with Pashinyan.