Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that neighboring Azerbaijan has offered to sign the Non-Aggression Pact. “We have submitted to Azerbaijan a proposal for a mutual arms control mechanism and will sign a non-aggression pact if the signing of the peace treaty is delayed,” Pashinyan said in a speech today to mark Armenia's Army Day.
Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev originally pledged to sign a peace accord by the end of 2023. However, peace talks under international mediation have not made any progress so far.
Decades of conflict
The neighboring Caucasus republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been enemies for decades, particularly over the Nagorno-Karabakh region that belongs to Azerbaijan under international law. In September, Azerbaijan took full control of Nagorno-Karabakh in a large-scale military offensive. As a result, all Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, including more than 100,000 people, fled to Armenia.
Last month, Armenia and Azerbaijan exchanged prisoners of war. The EU, US and regional powers Turkey and Russia hailed the move as a “breakthrough”. The prisoner exchange raised hopes of a resumption of direct talks between Pashinyan and Aliyev on normalizing bilateral relations. The two have met several times through EU Council President Charles Michel, but their dialogue has been on hold since October.