16.Feb .2023 21:00

Armenia submits Nagorno-Karabakh peace treaty project to Azerbaijan

Armenia submits Nagorno-Karabakh peace treaty project to Azerbaijan
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Armenia has presented a comprehensive peace treaty to Azerbaijan to end the Caucasus neighbors' decadeslong dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made the announcement at a cabinet meeting in Yerevan Thursday.

"The final and complete version of an agreement with our proposals has been handed over," Pashinyan said.

The two countries have fought two wars for control of Azerbaijan's Armenian-populated enclave that have claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Internationally-mediated peace talks between the ex-Soviet republics have since produced little if any result.

He added that Yerevan had completed Wednesday "another stage of working on a project of a peace treaty and on establishing (diplomatic) relations" with Baku.

"The document has to be acceptable to Azerbaijan ... its signing must bring about a lasting peace," Pashinyan claimed.

An agreement would provide for monitoring mechanisms by both sides to prevent breaches of the peace.

Copies have been sent to Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) members Russia, the United States and France.

These countries are co-chairs of the Minsk Group set up by the OSCE in 1992 to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The announcement came after Yerevan accused Baku of conducting a "policy of ethnic cleansing" and forcing ethnic Armenians to leave the region.

Since mid-December, a group of Azerbaijani environmental activists has allegedly blocked the only road linking Karabakh to Armenia to protest illegal mining in the area.

According to Yerevan, however, the blockade has led to a "full-blown humanitarian crisis" in the mountainous region which faces shortages of food, medicines, and fuel.

Armenia won the first Nagorno-Karabakh War that ended in 1994, taking control of the region. However, Azerbaijan reclaimed much of the territory in the second war in 2020.

Sporadic clashes have erupted since despite a peace deal mediated by Russia. Armenia, however, has expressed disappointment at Russian peacekeepers in the region and called for an international observer mission, Daily Sabah reports.