On October 11, Armenia’s Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan responded to a proposal by Azerbaijan’s President to consider Georgia as a venue for negotiations and for bilateral and trilateral meetings in Tbilisi. Pashinyan expressed concern that Aliev’s suggestion, made while discussions about a meeting in Brussels are underway, could be interpreted as an attempt to undermine the already agreed principles and shift to a different negotiation platform.
The Armenian Prime Minister said in an interview with Armenia’s Public Television: “A meeting was held in Granada and the principles of regulation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan were established on the platform of the European Union, from our point of view and from the point of view of the European Union. And it is clear that when we meet in Brussels, the conversation should be held within the framework of these principles, which I will not say that they correspond only to the interests of the Republic of Armenia. The Republic of Armenia has accepted them and, by the way, Azerbaijan has also accepted them… if Azerbaijan tries to propose another platform, it can be interpreted by us that by changing to another platform Azerbaijan wants to neutralize the already agreed principles.”
Pashinyan further expressed concerns about the possibility of hidden agendas that might lead to the use of force, a new conflict, or heightened tensions. He clarified: “We do not oppose dialogue but are opposed to a course of action that would deviate from the established principles.”
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made this proposal during his one-day surprize visit to Georgia on October 8. At a joint press conference, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili emphasized Georgia’s readiness to make a “humble contribution through mediation or facilitation – establishment of a friendly format in general,” adding: “Our future should be peaceful, stable and we – all three countries of the South Caucasus – should be able to decide on our own about the regional affairs and our development ahead.”
In turn, President Aliyev expressed hope for a political environment in the South Caucasus that would allow for trilateral cooperation involving Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, saying: “If Armenia agrees, we will immediately start, through our respective agencies, bilateral and trilateral meetings here in Georgia.”