Azerbaijan demands Armenia hand over 8 villages it says are ‘under occupation’

Despite ongoing peace talks, the two nations have continued to exchange periodic fire and to engage in minor clashes at their border.

During the Sept. 19 conflict, Pashinyan publicly conceded Azerbaijan’s right to Nagorno-Karabakh and staunchly denied that Armenian troops were helping ethnic Armenians in the enclave. 

Since Azerbaijan seized Nagorno-Karabakh, Pashinyan has been a vocal advocate for peace between the two countries and has proposed that any peace agreement be based on each nation respecting each other’s territorial sovereignty.

During a presentation at the annual Silk Road International Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Oct. 26, Pashinyan said that both Armenia and Azerbaijan must “mutually recognize each other’s territorial integrity.”

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Pashinyan said that both nations’ borders must remain at their current sizes, with Armenia at 29,800 square kilometers and Azerbaijan at 86,600 square kilometers. 

“This encyclopedic reference,” Pashinyan said, “was meant to ensure that statements made by Armenia and Azerbaijan about recognition of each other’s territorial integrity leave no room for claiming that by recognizing the other country’s territorial integrity, one of the countries has in mind only a part of its internationally recognized territory.”

U.S. State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a Wednesday press conference that peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is a “priority” for the United States and that “it’s something that the department will continue to engage towards.”

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