Read daily news summary for January 26 here.
Our red line is the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia - Mohammad Javad Zarif
‘Armenia does not consider that the results of Azerbaijan’s aggression against Artsakh and the use of force can create a basis for lasting peace or be considered an opportunity for regional cooperation,’ said Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan during his meeting with Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran who arrived in Armenia following his visits to Moscow and Baku.
The Iranian FM expressed condolences over the human losses in the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war, and expressed readiness to assist in solving humanitarian issues, Armenpress.am reports. ‘As two ancient civilizations, we have had many ups and downs, but we have always overcome them with honor,’ Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
‘Our red line is the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia, on which we’ve clearly expressed ourselves,’ the Iranian FM said after highlighting the importance of territorial integrity of all countries.
Ministers Aivazian and Zarif exchanged views in detail on the regional security and stability. Both sides expressed concern over the deployment of foreign terrorist fighters in the region.
Speaking about the possibility of a railway connecting Armenia to Iran through Azerbaijan’s exclave Nakhijevan, Minister Zarif told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that the railway is a regional necessity, ‘an ancient road that links the North to the South’ and that Iran is working on that direction with Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia.
Later, Mohammad Javad Zarif was received by Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, who highlighted deepening and developing bilateral relations between countries among many issues of discussion, Armenpress.am reports. Armenian PM noted that the relations between Armenia and Iran are based on traditional friendship. ‘I think that the stability, peace, and sustainable development of the region are among our common interests,’ Pashinyan said.
For his part, the Iranian FM said that Iran has common regional concerns with Armenia. ‘From the very first days of the conflict we have been in constant touch both with you and other countries of the region and want to keep that tie having cooperation prospects,’ the Iranian FM added.
Armenian, Azerbaijani, Russian Deputy PMs to meet in Moscow. Putin discussed Karabakh in Davos.
Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan had a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday. Ayvazyan stressed the priority of immediate and safe repatriation of POWs, hostages, and other detainees from Azerbaijan. The Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the full implementation of the provisions of the trilateral truce statement of November 9, which ended the recent Nagorno Karabakh war, and the post-truce statement signed in Moscow on January 11.
The recent trilateral statement specified on the lifting of the blockade of regional transport communications based on a roadmap to be set up by a working group chaired by the Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Russian Deputy Prime Ministers. The first meeting of the Deputy Prime Ministers will be held in Moscow on January 30.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told Davos Agenda Week on Wednesday that the November 9 trilateral statement has been implemented consistently. Putin highlighted Russia’s role in reaching a 'full ceasefire’ and starting the process of stabilization, Armenpress.am reports.
Russian President urged the international community, particularly the countries that participated in the solution of the crisis, ‘to provide assistance to the affected regions for the solution of the humanitarian issues related to the return of the refugees, reconstruction of ruined buildings, protection, and restoration of historical, religious and cultural monuments.’
Other news from Armenia
- President of the RA National Assembly Ararat Mirzoyan has received RF Ambassador Sergey Kopirkin. During the meeting, President Mirzoyan highlighted that the issue of the return of the Armenian prisoners of war and other detained persons is a priority for the Armenian side and expressed hope that Russian colleagues will continue their mediation efforts in that direction in order to fulfill the respective Provision of the November 9 trilateral statement.
In his turn, Ambassador Kopirkin noted that the negotiations under the OSCE Minsk Group auspices should continue for the final settlement of the issue, including the status of the Nagorno Karabakh.
- ‘Armenia and Russia are resuming regular bilateral air communication from February 1,’ Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the Cabinet meeting, Armenpress.am reports. The flights are restarting as part of the ‘I am Traveling Without Covid-19’ pilot program to be fully launched in March. Travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours prior to the flight.
‘This is a very important program, and I want to thank our partners of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Russian government for this active and productive cooperation,’ Pashinyan said adding that the Armenian initiative has been supported by partners and funded by the Eurasian Bank.
- ‘A number of points are raised in the November 9 trilateral declaration, but there are missing points, and those missing points should be raised in the sidelines of the Minsk Group,’ Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France told in Yerevan on Wednesday. Speaking about the Armenian PoWs, Lemoyne said: ‘Naturally, we raise that issue in conversations with the Azerbaijani leadership, whenever we have such an opportunity. The ICRC has the main mandate over the issue of the war prisoners and they work in that direction, but we also raise that issue in case of any opportunity.’
- ‘Homeland Salvation Movement’, a coalition of 17 opposition parties demanding Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation, made a statement, Panorama.am reports. The Movement, which is planning to hold a ‘nationwide rally’ on February 18, suggested to remove PM Pashinyan from office through either resignation or impeachment and form an interim government of national unity. ‘Before holding elections, the interim government will be tasked with stabilizing the situation in the country, solving urgent humanitarian, social-economic issues as well as those related to the post-war situation, create necessary conditions for organizing transparent parliamentary elections,’ the statement reads.
During his visit to Ararat Province on Tuesday, Vazgen Manukya, leader of the Movement announced that the coalition may consider revolt and occupation of government buildings. Deputy Chief of Armenia Police Ara Fidanyan responded to Manukyan’s statement on Wednesday saying that, if necessary, the opposition leader will be invited to the Police department.