Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said on Thursday that Yerevan did not implicitly agree to withdraw its forces from Karabakh during Moscow talks, contrary to a recent statement by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
“The Joint statement of October 10 is there, it was reconfirmed also on October 17 and October 25 and there is nothing agreed beyond that text,” the minister said.
Aliyev told Haber Turk broadcaster on October 14 that Baku was expecting Armenia to withdraw its forces from Karabakh, where the decades-long conflict flared-up in late September.
According to the senior official, Yerevan supports deployment of ceasefire observers in Nagorno-Karabakh but does not believe that Baku is interested in a sustainable ceasefire.
“Armenia has been always supportive of the idea of permanent ceasefire monitoring which was introduced in the peace process by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs immediately after the 2016 April escalation,” the minister said.
According to Mnatsakanyan, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to the expansion of the OSCE monitoring team and ceasefire investigation mechanism, but Azerbaijan later “ refused to implement this agreement.”
“This indicates that neither yesterday nor today Azerbaijan is interested in a sustainable and verifiable ceasefire. Our position is unchanged and we support the deployment of observers,” the foreign minister said.
On October 10, foreign ministers of both Armenia and Azerbaijan held talks in Moscow, mediated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on a ceasefire, but almost immediately after it went into force both reported that it was being breached by the other side.
There have been two other attempts at ceasefire since then, one of them brokered in Washington, but the two sides reported breaches soon after each of the agreements.