Azerbaijan’s foreign minister has rejected a demand from Armenia to provide special security guarantees for some 120,000 Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) ahead of a new round of peace talks, Reuters reports.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was quoted last month as saying Armenia did recognise that Karabakh was part of Azerbaijan, but wanted Baku to provide the guarantees for its ethnic Armenian population.
In an interview with Reuters, however, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said such a guarantee was unnecessary, and the demand amounted to interference in Azerbaijan’s affairs.
“We don’t accept such a precondition … for a number of reasons,” he said.
“The most fundamental is the following: this is an internal, sovereign issue. The Azerbaijan constitution and a number of international conventions to which Azerbaijan is party provide all the necessary conditions in order to guarantee the rights of this population.”