Sochi, November 26, AZERTAC
Following the trilateral meeting among President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, the Russian President, the Azerbaijani President and the Armenian Prime Minister have made press statements.
Statement by President of Russia Vladimir Putin
- In conclusion of our trilateral meeting, I would like to once again thank my colleagues, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia, for agreeing to come to Russia today and discuss the situation that is developing at this point in time regarding the settlement of the Karabakh problem and the whole region. We – and I should say this from the very beginning – worked very constructively today. It was a deep analysis of the situation that has developed today. We have paid tribute to the work of our Russian peacekeepers, border guards, the specialists engaged in mine clearance to ensure the return of people to their permanent places of residence.
I would also like to note that we have agreed on a number of issues that I consider to be crucial. The first of them is the creation of mechanisms – we agreed to do this by the end of this year – for the demarcation and delimitation of the border between the two states. I do hope this happens as soon as possible. There are no obstacles to the creation of these mechanisms. The second thing I would like to draw your attention to is that there is a very important sensitive point related to humanitarian issues, and here we have also made significant progress. And finally, the third issue is that we talked in great detail about economic issues, the development of economic ties and, above all, as a first step, we talked about the unblocking of transport corridors – this applies to the railway and to automobile communications. I think that we should thank our deputy prime ministers who have been working on this issue for quite some time. Next week – this is another agreement we have reached – they will gather in Moscow in order to sum up some results and announce the decisions that we have agreed upon today.
Thank you very much again for today's work. I would like to express my gratitude to both the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia.
Statement by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- Thank you very much, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich. First of all, let me once again express my gratitude to you for today's meeting and your efforts to create a favorable atmosphere in resolving the issues between Azerbaijan and Armenia. A year has passed since the well-known trilateral Statement that put an end to the war between the two countries, and this year we can characterize it positively as a whole. I would like to once again take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, and to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for the peacekeeping mission in Karabakh. During this year, there were no serious incidents in the area of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping forces.
Of course, many important events have taken place this year. This is the second time we are meeting in this format – we met at the beginning and we are now meeting at the end of this year. I do not want to repeat what Vladimir Vladimirovich said about issues related to delimitation, demarcation and unblocking of transport arteries. A very detailed, I would say, sincere conversation on these issues has taken place today. We openly discussed our plans, openly discussed issues of concern to both sides. And the main thing is that the decisions that we have made in the matter of settling disputes and disagreements will contribute to making the situation in the South Caucasus more secure and predictable.
Also, as Vladimir Vladimirovich has noted, we have also discussed humanitarian issues. Azerbaijan has always consistently advocated the observance of all humanitarian norms, whether during the hostilities and after. I must say that after the end of hostilities, more than 100 detained Armenian servicemen were handed over to the Armenian side, including one that was handed over this morning – a wounded soldier who received medical assistance from Azerbaijani doctors, as well as one civilian who, having lost his way, got lost in our territory. In other words, we have always proceeded from the principle of humanism and intend to continue to work in this direction. Also, from the Armenian side, we are also seeing a disposition to create preconditions for the situation in the region to be more predictable. I have repeatedly said that we in Azerbaijan are determined to turn the page of a long-term confrontation with Armenia, to begin a stage of normal interaction, and I think that it is in this format that we are achieving our goals.
Russia is a friend, a strategic partner for Azerbaijan. I would even say that it is more than a strategic partner for Azerbaijan. The level of trusting relations between Azerbaijan and Russia, among other things, contributes to the fact that we find solutions on the most sensitive issues with Armenia. I think that the outcome of our meeting will produce good results, which will not be long in coming, and the situation in the region will become safer and more predictable. Once again, Mr. President, thank you for the invitation and for today's meeting.
Statement by Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan
- Vladimir Vladimirovich, let me thank you once again for the invitation and, of course, for creating a positive working atmosphere. I want to confirm that we had a very positive meeting, a positive conversation. We discussed practically all the issues on the agenda. This wasn’t a meeting to conceal problems. It was a meeting where we openly discussed all issues. I want to note that it is very positive that we have clarified our positions on many issues, and it turns out that we have no discrepancies on some issues, as it seemed to us before this meeting. I want to say that indeed, on the issue of the opening of all transport and economic communications in the region, we have stated that we have a general idea of how these communications will work. The topic of delimitation and demarcation, the start of the process is not a new topic. We have discussed this issue. We have also adopted a trilateral statement, where we confirmed that it is necessary to create suitable conditions before that, i.e. to create some kind of security and stability mechanisms on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Of course, humanitarian issues were also touched upon. On the whole, I also assess today's conversation, today's meeting very positively. I would like to once again thank our strategic ally, the Russian Federation, for the initiative. I think that if it is possible to create a certain dynamics of our conversation on the basis of this meeting, then we can expect specific results. I confirm the readiness of Armenia and the Armenian government, which received a mandate from the people of Armenia, to open an era of peaceful development for our country, for our region, and we are committed to this. Of course, today's meeting was beneficial to the implementation of this agenda. Thank you.
President Vladimir Putin: In conclusion, I would like to stress again that the meeting was extremely useful and timely. As already mentioned, we have signed a statement on the results of our joint work today. The public and the media can familiarize themselves with this statement. It outlines in more detail everything that we did and what we agreed on.
To my left you see our gift to both Armenian and Azerbaijani friends – an olive branch which symbolizes peace and prosperity. I very much hope that today's agreements will be implemented and will create conditions for the next steps in the normalization of relations in the South Caucasus as a whole. Thank you.
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