February 10, 2024 - 12:20 AMT
Azerbaijan sees claims to Karabakh in Armenia's legislation

Azerbaijani officials complain that Armenia continues to formally stake a claim to Nagorno-Karabakh not only in its constitution, but in its formal statements as well, RFE/RL’s Armenian service reports.

In a conversation with Elchin Amirbayov, Azerbaijan's senior envoy for special assignments who has been closely involved in negotiations with Armenia, first cited the constitution, the preamble of which makes reference to a 1989 act calling to unify Karabakh with Armenia.

Amirbayov said there are several other such claims in Armenia's formal statements and legislation. For example, when Armenia's legislature ratified the 1991 Alma Ata accords, which accepted Soviet republic borders as the borders of the newly independent states, lawmakers added language saying that it did not apply to Karabakh. He also called attention to language on the Armenian Foreign Ministry website saying that Nagorno-Karabakh is "an integral part of historic Armenia," and recent Armenian filings in the European Court of Human Rights that imply a claim on Azerbaijan.

"We have pointed the attention of the Armenian side to those facts many times, during our [in-person] negotiations, but also through different exchanges of comments," he said. "And the Armenian side acknowledges that this is the fact, but nothing is being done…. When they try to cheat, if I may use the word, if they try to put all the blame and the responsibility on our shoulders, and at the same time in the back of their minds still having these territorial claims against us, it's not going to work," he said.