"This practice has been used in Japan, Germany, and also recently in Iraq"

It is quite possible to open communications with Azerbaijan before signing a peace treaty, as well as the delimitation of the border, the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told local journalists in parliament on June 12. "It is quite possible to form a real world, through practical steps, and then only sign an agreement. But in any case, a peace treaty must be signed," Pashinyan said.

Although the Prime Minister considers the existing text of the draft peace treaty to be quite mature, he also added that it is necessary to clarify some details and bring the document into final form.

As for the condition of the Azerbaijani side on changing the Constitution of Armenia to sign a peace treaty, Pashinyan noted that this step on the part of Baku is aimed at torpedoing the peace process.

On June 11, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov, at a meeting with his German counterpart Annalena Berbock, stated that the ongoing claims to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in the Armenian Constitution are an obstacle to signing a peace agreement.

On June 6, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev, also referring to the peace agreement with Yerevan, at a meeting with a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic States said that the conclusion of a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan, despite the fact that the current constitution of Armenia remains unchanged, is simply impossible.

The day after that, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia issued a statement stating that it had no territorial claims against any of its neighbors, including Azerbaijan.

Is the Armenian Constitution really an obstacle to peace?

International relations specialist and conflict analyst Elkhan Mehdiyev answers questions from ASTNA on this topic.

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Question: Is the Armenian Constitution really an obstacle to peace?

Answer: Yes, it is. Because the Constitution of Armenia refers to the Declaration of Independence, based on the fictional Great Armenia. This declaration, which led to the occupation of Azerbaijani lands, and the Constitution, which refers to it, must be changed, since they indirectly contain claims on the territories of Azerbaijan and Türkiye.  The laws of the defeated occupying country, which primarily encourage aggression, must be changed. This is what Azerbaijan demands.

Question: The President says that the Armenian Constitution contains territorial claims against Azerbaijan and even Türkiye. Are there such provisions in the Constitution of Armenia?

Answer: As I said, it is in the Declaration of Independence. And the Constitution refers to it.

Question: But the Armenian side does not accept these demands. Pashinyan says that every day is a good opportunity for peace. That is, he declares his readiness to sign a peace agreement. Now the question is, who's bluffing? Is it the Armenian or the Azerbaijani side?

Answer: No, the point is as follows.  Azerbaijan defeated Armenia and drove the aggressor out of the country. Now it requires the removal of articles directed against the territories of Azerbaijan from its laws, the concept of national security, military doctrine, as well as the Declaration of Independence provided for by the Constitution.  This is a worldwide practice, and it has been used against both Japan and Germany, as well as more recently in Iraq. Azerbaijan demands the removal of all legal barriers that can hinder peace. This is our legitimate demand.  Armenia can sign a peace agreement. But if all these articles remain in all these laws, then the Constitutional Court (if the rule of law is respected in Armenia) may reject them.

Question: There is an opinion that even if the Constitution changes in Armenia, the Azerbaijani side will look for other excuses not to sign the peace. Why? Doesn't Azerbaijan want peace?

Answer: Azerbaijan's position is correct.  He seeks a long-term and eternal permanent peace, and this provision is one of the principles set out in the peace treaty. That is, with the obligation not to have territorial claims in the future.

Question: Is there pressure on Azerbaijan not to sign peace right now? Is the role of third forces possible here and for what purpose?

Answer: Currently, relations between Russia and Armenia are tense, and Russia wants its role in signing the peace treaty to be dominant and, in a certain sense, to act as a guarantor. And from this point of view, it has an impact.  This largely concerns the Armenian-Russian relations. But since Azerbaijan's relations with Russia are friendly, it does not consider it acceptable to act against Russia's will in this historical period.

Question: What steps should the parties take to sign the peace?

Answer:  First of all, it is necessary to remove all obstacles on the path to peace.

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