TODAY.AZ / Politics

Peace is on hold awaiting guarantees - Is Yerevan capable of ensuring?

10 June 2024 [14:00] - TODAY.AZ
By Leila Tariverdieva,

Not so long ago, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made an unexpected statement. At his regular press conference, he said that a peace treaty with Azerbaijan could be signed before November this year.

Then many drew the following conclusion from these words: the parties discussed the main points and want to sign peace on the eve of COP29, where the Armenian delegation can also come in this case. However, what has been coming from Yerevan in recent days suggests that we have rushed to such a conclusion. Far from everything has been discussed and, taking advantage of the moment, Armenia is in a hurry to sign the agreement before the climate summit in Baku, but not Azerbaijan.

Let's just say that the conclusions were drawn by us independently. Only Pashinyan knows what is really on his mind. Therefore, we do not pretend to be the ultimate truth, we will only allow ourselves some assumptions.

Armenia really hoped that the peace treaty would be signed before November. These hopes were connected with the misconception that Baku would be ready for anything in connection with the COP29. 

To sign a crude and unsecured document, so that during the summit it would be possible to report on the final resolution of problems with Armenia. Yerevan misinterpreted some statements from Baku and decided that the Azerbaijani side would try to drag the Armenian delegation to the event at all costs in order to demonstrate the victory of its diplomacy. 

It is possible that the parties are also being persuaded by external actors to conclude peace in any form before November.
Of course, we are all interested in peace being concluded as soon as possible so that the region can turn over this bloody page in its history. 

Of course, achieving peace and the appearance of the Armenian delegation in Baku would be a big plus for everyone. But the neighbors jumped to conclusions too quickly and everything is not so simple.

Initially, the Armenian side had many inadequate additions to the five principles of peace proposed by Azerbaijan. Most of them disappeared by themselves in the four post-war years. Not because Armenia has come to its senses, but because the subject of Armenian "concern" in the person of the separatist entity and the separatists themselves has disappeared. 

The main stumbling block hindering the achievement of peace today is the toxic constitution of Armenia. Azerbaijan has been persistently raising this issue for several years. Nikol Pashinyan himself has also moved from denial and anger to acceptance. However, the idea of amendments to the constitution met with a sharp reaction from the opposition, the separatist masses and revanchist circles who joined it. 

The government may call a referendum, but its results, in the presence of hysterical counter-propaganda in society, are unlikely to please and will not help Pashinyan realize his dream of turning Armenia into a state not only de jure, but also de facto. 

He is trying to convince his society that it is not the Azerbaijanis who need changes to the Constitution, but, above all, the Armenians themselves, that their country will never become a full-fledged state and a respected participant in international processes as long as its fundamental documents contain territorial claims against its neighbors.

But that's all the lyrics. On the physical plane, we have the same situation and the complete absence of signs of its change in the near future. There are not even clear decisions on the referendum on amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia.  

And there is a strengthening of the revanchist element in the Armenian society.
Meanwhile, the Armenian Foreign Ministry remains strangely optimistic. Last week, they stated with childlike directness that Armenia and Azerbaijan are ripe enough to sign a peace treaty next month, that is, in July.

But there is Baku's position, which was voiced by President Ilham Aliyev at a meeting with the speakers of the parliaments of the TURKPA countries on June 6. 

"The conclusion of a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan, despite the fact that the current constitution of Armenia remains unchanged, is simply impossible. When we raise this issue, I said it and I want to say it again - not because we interfere in their internal affairs, absolutely not, but it concerns us. We cannot conclude a peace agreement with Armenia at a time when they have territorial claims against us... They need to completely abandon the ideas of revanchism. And we see that such ideas exist, not only among the opposition, but also among the ruling group," the Azerbaijani President said.

Pashinyan assures that Armenia has no claims to the lands of Azerbaijan. Yes, we believe that he personally has no such claims and will never put them forward, but Pashinyan is not eternal in his post, and the return to power of Miatsum supporters can blow up the region again. Arguments like the priority of the peace treaty over the constitution are not serious, because the country's constitution is always placed above its international obligations, and this is well known. If international obligations conflict with the Constitution, the relevant agreements, contracts, and so on are canceled. 

The supporters of "miatsum", in accordance with international law, will revoke Armenia's signature, and everything will begin anew. To deprive them of such an opportunity, Pashinyan must change the constitution. He has no other choice. As can be seen from the statements of the President of Azerbaijan, Baku is very determined on this issue.

Official Yerevan, represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tried to respond to the President of Azerbaijan. 

The ministry issued a statement in which it assured that "Armenia has no territorial claims against any of its neighbors, including Azerbaijan. The Constitution of Armenia and its amendments are an internal matter of Armenia." The Agency considers an acceptable argument to be the fact that the text of the peace treaty recognizes the territorial integrity of each other and this is enough. The Armenian side is trying to convince Baku that the toxic provisions of its declaration of independence and constitution are completely harmless, since the draft peace treaty states the following: neither side can invoke its own domestic legislation in connection with non-fulfillment of its obligations under the peace treaty.

This is not a serious approach. And that's why. This provision will be contained in a document signed by Nikol Pashinyan. Any next prime minister who comes to his place as a result of elections, a coup, a revolution or the physical elimination of Nikola will represent the revanchist camp. No one who does not share the "age-old aspirations of Armenians" will be allowed to come to power in Armenia anymore. And Pashinyan does not share them and has never shared them. If the crowds who joined him to eliminate the Karabakh clan had known that today would come, probably the April 2018 "revolution" would not have taken place, or he would not have succeeded so easily. The claims arising from the constitution will definitely be adopted again, no matter what songs the Armenian Foreign Ministry sings in our ears. This is unacceptable in any case, regardless of whether Armenia decides to commit aggression under the new government or not. In any case, the region will face the threat of new destabilization.

Azerbaijan intends to sign a peace treaty with reliable guarantees that in the future Armenia will not try to expand its borders again and the next generations will not have to endure the nightmare that befell their fathers and grandfathers. 

These guarantees under the current Armenian constitution are, as lawyers call it, null and void. Even if Armenia does not decide on a new war, the threat of destabilization will be constant.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry interpreted the statement of the Armenian colleagues as an intention to divert the attention of the international community from the challenges that remain an obstacle to achieving peace between the two countries. Territorial claims against Azerbaijan are enshrined in numerous legal and political documents of Armenia, and this is the main obstacle to the conclusion of peace. The fact that the Armenian side considers it possible to ignore this problem demonstrates that Armenia is not interested in a sustainable peace and only seeks to preserve this situation as a backup option for resuming its aggression, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.

Another argument of the Armenian side is the alleged existence of similar problems in the Basic Law of Azerbaijan. Unable to effectively object to Baku's legitimate demands, Yerevan came up with a "mirror" argument, seeing an analogy in the provision that Azerbaijan is the heir to the ADR. The Armenian Foreign Minister said that Yerevan and Baku, they say, are mutually dissatisfied with the constitutions. This is just an attempt to evade responsibility for solving this most difficult issue. The reference to the ADR heritage has nothing to do with the territorial issue. This is a matter of political inheritance of the principles of statehood laid down by the first democratic state in the East. These provisions are absolutely incomparable. Armenia is making a pathetic attempt to artificially create a mirror effect. Although Pashinyan understands everything perfectly, and we know that he is aware of the realities and risks.

Yes, amendments to the Armenian Constitution are not subject to negotiations. Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan is absolutely right here. Because Azerbaijan is not conducting any discussions on this topic - it has set a condition and expects it to be fulfilled. This demand is not "torpedoing the process" or "revenge," as Speaker Alain Simonyan states. Azerbaijan's demand is the legitimate right of the country to ensure its security for generations to come. 

The Azerbaijani leadership does not act on the principle of "the main thing is to earn points, and after me there will be a flood." Everything that is being done today is calculated for many decades.

Armenia needs a deep cleaning of the ideological stables so that the next generation will grow up on realities, and not disorienting historical insinuations in space. Otherwise, the neighborhood with A

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