Nikol Pashinyan gives details on his informal meeting with Ilham Aliyev in Dushanbe
On September 28, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan gave details of informal meeting with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Dushanbe.
The Prime Minister stated, in part: “I know that there is some interest in my contacts with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. In fact, this communication was informal, and that was our first such discussion, our first-ever contact. You may remember that on June 14, the President of the Russian Federation introduced us to each other at the of the World Football Championship opening ceremony. We got acquainted, but did not talk to each other.
We eventually talked in Dushanbe, and we were able to state some important points following a substantive conversation. The first is that we agreed to task our defense ministers to take specific steps with a view to reducing the tension on the border. I believe it to be an important agreement. I immediately informed Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan about this arrangement, and this agreement, in fact, was also acceptable for him. And we can say that there is an agreement over the measures to prevent ceasefire violations along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and at the Karabakh-Azerbaijan line of contact. Later yesterday, I issued an appropriate order for our Armed Forces in Dushanbe.
I am glad to note that last night was the best and coolest night after my being elected Prime Minister of Armenia. And I hope that the logic that has been functioning lately, due to which unfortunately, we have seen losses on both sides, will be stopped at last.
In the next paragraph we have recorded our commitment to the negotiation process and the method of talks. That is to say, the Karabakh issue should be settled through negotiations. And the third important point is that we have agreed to keep in touch over operational issues. Note that this is just an agreement, and the technicalities have to be agreed yet. We simply agreed that we would instruct our respective departments to develop such a system of operative communication in order to rule out any wrangle about who started violating the ceasefire, and so on.
This conversation is continuing and we have a problem now as we try to find a way to operative communication if we really want the ceasefire regime to be fully maintained, because the regime of halfway measures is not quite understandable. We must definitely keep in touch and have such communication. In general, this is our agreement with the President of Azerbaijan.
Today as well, we had some discussions so that we could coordinate and clarify all these points and understand each other correctly. We had a general discussion, but I want to say that there was no content discussion. In other words, at this stage the discussion was as follows: how to ease the tension along the line of contact and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in order to prevent ceasefire violations.
In general, as we talk about settlement, it goes without saying that a relevant atmosphere is needed for the settlement. There is no point in speaking about settlement amid daily firing and shelling on the border; we must really take steps where possible in order to speak about the principles, content and nuances of the conflict in a normal environment.
To be honest, I am glad that these agreements have been achieved, and I hope they will be observed. At least, we all realize that keeping these agreements is very important. We will do our best to make these arrangements effective.”