Armenian Prime Minister: “We must move steadily towards peace with Azerbaijan” 

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Prime Minister Pashinyan defied those claiming that Armenia is suffering because it is a democracy © European Union, 2023 – EP  

The Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan addressed MEPs in the European Parliament’s hemicycle in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

In his address, Mr Pashinyan expressed his staunch defence of democratic principles against the backdrop of the multifaceted crises Armenia has been confronted with in recent years, highlighting the turbulent aftermath of the 2020 war with Azerbaijan and the subsequent cross-border attacks and incursions into Armenia by Azerbaijani troops in 2021 and 2022. He sought to defy those claiming that Armenia is suffering because it is a democracy, instead saying that his country would be paralysed and lose its independence and sovereignty if it was not democratic.

Referring to Azerbaijan’s recent attack and recapture of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, he said that Baku did so in “fulfilment of its long-standing policy of ethnic cleansing”. He also described the horrible humanitarian situation created by Azerbaijan’s long blockade of the Lachin corridor and offered a sharp rebuke to Moscow after Baku’s latest offensive.

"When hundreds of thousands of Armenians were fleeing from Nagorno Karabakh to the Republic of Armenia, not only did our allies in the security sector refuse to help us, but they also made public calls for a change of power in Armenia, to overthrow the democratic government", he said. "But the people of Armenia united for their own independence, sovereignty, democracy, and another conspiracy against our state failed".

Outlining in detail previous and so far failed attempts to achieve lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Mr Pashinyan stated his willingness to sign a peace and relations settlement agreement with Baku by the end of the year. "We must move steadily towards peace", he said (..) "To do this, political will is necessary and I have that political will. On the other hand, the international community and the European Union, and the countries of our region should support us, do everything to make this opportunity real for us".

You can watch the speech again here. (17.10.2023)