If Azerbaijan were to immediately withdraw from the sovereign Armenian territory that it occupies and promise to halt further aggression the path could be cleared toward a comprehensive peace settlement with Armenia, Armenian Ambassador to UK Varuzhan Nersesyan said in an op-ed published by The Jerusalem Post.
Azerbaijan wants to eliminate Armenia, Armenian identity, the Ambassador said, the Ambassador says.
“In Azerbaijan’s school system children are taught to hate Armenians. In one school textbook for nine to 10-year-olds a young girl is shown killing an Armenian soldier with an axe. Ironically, the ax murderer who was convicted by the Hungarian court for beheading a sleeping Armenian counterpart in Budapest is a national hero of Azerbaijan and according to the country’s ombudsman is “a symbol for the young generation”,” the Ambassador writes.
“Armenia is not an obstacle to peace but what sort of peace does Azerbaijan seek?” he says. “However, what Armenia guards against is Azerbaijan exploiting the border delimitation process for new territorial claims and occupation. For example, it continues to publish maps showing the south of Armenia as part of Azerbaijan. Armenia has confirmed its road network would be open for transportation between those two but that it would not whatsoever constitute an extraterritorial corridor that Azerbaijan could use as a pretext for further aggression.”
“Azerbaijan’s claims to desire peace have been undermined by President Aliyev’s decision to pull out of a meeting in Brussels planned for today with Prime Minister Pashinyan, France’s President Macron and the president of the European Council, Charles Michel,” Ambassador Nersesyan writes.
“However, the same four leaders met in Prague last October where they all agreed that the quadrilateral format would again be used in Brussels. Armenia remains fully committed to a peace agenda. If Azerbaijan is serious about peace, the only way to show it is to return to negotiations instead of finding pretexts to avoid them,” he concludes.