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Pashinyan considers signing of peace deal with Baku possible by yearend

Armenian Prime Minister added that Yerevan is taking all necessary steps for it
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan Alexander Patrin/TASS
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan
© Alexander Patrin/TASS

YEREVAN, September 17. /TASS/. The signing of the peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan by the yearend is possible, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told a briefing, adding that Yerevan is taking all necessary steps for it.

"The severe humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh obviously affects the peace process. We spend much time on closing the Lachin corridor [from Azerbaijan’s side] and the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh. This energy and time should be spent on addressing the peace deal. I always consider it possible to sign a peace deal by the end of the year as I have accepted an obligation to sign such an agreement. Yes, we believe the signing is possible by the end of the year," he said.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the breakup of the Soviet Union, but which was primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Renewed clashes erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the document, Azerbaijan and Armenia maintained the positions that they had held, while a number of districts were handed over to Baku and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the line of contact and the Lachin Corridor. Later, the three countries’ leaders adopted several more joint statements on the situation in the region. Last year, Azerbaijan and Armenia began peace treaty talks, with the issue of demarcation of the common border line having become one of serious obstacles. Pashinyan and Aliyev have had several personal meetings through the mediation of Russia and the EU. The parties regularly report new proposals and commentaries on the draft peace deal being sent to each other, though shooting incidents on the border occasionally take place, in which Baku and Yerevan blame each other.