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Azerbaijan believes in peace with Armenia

Senior Azerbaijani officials rejected claims of a new conflict with Armenia, noting the possibility of signing a peace treaty in the near future, according to Politico.

After talks with his Russian counterparts on Tuesday, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov stated that “there are real chances for the conclusion of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia within a short period of time.”

The proposed agreement would mark the end of three decades of conflict, quashing speculation that Azerbaijan might use military force to secure the so-called Zangezur corridor connecting mainland Azerbaijan to its exclave of Nakhchivan.

Hikmet Hajiyev, the top foreign policy aide to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, stated that the country had no plans to seize Zangezur, known to Armenians as Syunik, saying the project “has lost its attractiveness for us – we can do this with Iran instead.”

Our agenda was only about building transport linkages and connectivity through the framework of bilateral engagement. If this is the case, yes, but if not then OK. It’s still on the table but it will require from the Armenian side to show they’re really interested in that.

Armenian officials declined to comment on the progress of the peace talks, mediated at various times over the past few months by the US, the EU, Russia and Iran.

“The Armenian position has always been clear on unblocking regional communications. It must be based on sovereignty and jurisdiction of states and principles of reciprocity and equality.”

However, Armenia’s new ambassador to the EU, Tigran Balayan, has stated that his government expects an invasion “within weeks.”

Last week Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated that “we will return to Zangezur, but in a peaceful way … not in tanks, but in cars.”

In a statement following the September crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, when tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians fled their homes after an Azerbaijani military offensive, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that he was “deeply concerned about Azerbaijan’s military actions.”

France announced giving Armenia weapons to defend its sovereignty, a decision that Aliyev claimed would make Paris culpable if the conflict escalated.

The EU’s role as a mediator in the conflict now appears to be jeopardised by the postponement of the Brussels talks. However, a senior EU official claims that the bloc is not losing its influence, but is simply spending more time organising events.

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