Pashinyan: reopening of transport links and border demarcation must be a trilateral process

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YEREVAN, May 17. /ARKA/. Armenia has never discussed and will not discuss the so-called Zangezur Corridor idea, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told a Sunday meeting of the Security Council.

In a televised interview on April 20 Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev threatened to take Armenia’s southern region of Zangezur (Syunik province) by force, “whether Armenia wants it or not.”

“The creation of the Zangezur corridor fully meets our national, historical and future interests. We will be implementing the Zangezur Corridor, whether Armenia wants it or not. If Armenia wants to, we will solve this issue more easily, if it does not, we will solve it by force,” Aliyev said.

In retaliation Armenian foreign ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan said Armenia will take all necessary measures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

According to Pashinyan, the opening of transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan is part of his government’s political agenda, but the opening of transport links cannot have anything to do with the propaganda of the “corridor” idea carried out by specific political circles of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

On delimitation and demarcation of Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan, Pashinyan stressed that the opening of the borders and the process of their demarcation are as important for Armenia as they are for Azerbaijan.

He said in recent days Azerbaijani propaganda has been trying to promote the idea that the demarcation process should take place in a bilateral format.

“It cannot happen for the simple reason that Armenia and Azerbaijan, in fact, do not have relations. And the processes of opening communications and clarifying borders should take place in a trilateral format, and to that end several agreements were reached and their violation or disruption , in my opinion, is also the reason behind the latest provocations by Azerbaijani troops,” he said.

According to official Armenian reports, Azerbaijani troops advanced several kilometers into the Armenian province of Syunik early on May 12 and attempted to breach the border on two other sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in Sisian and Vardenis, but were stopped by Armenian military units. After several days of talks, Azeri troops have reportedly withdrawn from some parts of the Armenian territory on May 16. Pashinyan told a Security Council meeting late on Sunday that the talks will resume on Wednesday. -0-

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