Armenian prime minister proposes non-aggression pact to Azerbaijan

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Sunday that he has proposed the signing of a non aggression pact to Azerbaijan, pending a comprehensive peace treaty between the arch-foe Caucasus neighbours.

Yerevan and Baku have fought two wars -- in 2020 and in the 1990s -- over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Azerbaijan recaptured in a lightning offensive last year.

"We have presented Azerbaijan with a proposal for a mutual arms control mechanism and the signing of a non-aggression pact if the signature of a peace treaty encounters delays," Pashinyan said in a speech during an Armenian Army Day celebration event.

Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had previously said that a peace agreement could have been signed by the end of the last year.

But internationally mediated peace talks have so far failed to produce a breakthrough.

Aliyev sent troops to Karabakh on September 19 and after just one day of fighting Armenian separatists -- who had controlled the region for three decades -- surrendered and agreed to reintegrate with Baku.

But in December, separatist leader Samvel Shahramanyan said in Yerevan that his previous decree ordering the dissolution of separatist institutions was not valid.

Almost the entire ethnic-Armenian population -- more than 100,00 people -- fled Karabakh for Armenia following Baku's takeover, sparking a refugee crisis.


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