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Azerbaijan Intends to Open Lachin Corridor to Outbound Traffic Only, Pashinyan Warns

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told his cabinet on Thursday that he has received information suggesting that Azerbaijan is planning to re-open the Lachin Corridor only for one-way outbound movement to persons leaving Artsakh.

Without elaborating on the information, Pashinyan said that Azerbaijan is continuing its illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor. He pointed out that a humanitarian convoy of trucks carrying 400 tons of assistance from the Armenian government, and other trucks from private sector and regions in France, remain stranded at the entrance of the Lachin Corridor.

“At the same time, the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh remains tense. The only change in the situation is that a certain movement of people requiring treatment and other citizens has begun along the Lachin Corridor through the Red Cross and the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, we have received credible information that plans are being developed to open one-way transit along the Lachin Corridor, meaning to allow only exit from Nagorno-Karabakh,” Pashinyan said.

The prime minister reiterated that Baku continues its breach of provisions of the November 9, 2020 agreement.

Pashinyan also accused Azerbaijan of “torpedoing” any dialogue with Stepanakert.

“Our information suggests that Baku, through various methods, is continuously torpedoing dialogue with Stepanakert, and is trying to put the responsibility for this on Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Pashinyan who reiterated his government’s policy that issues relating to the rights and security of Artsakh should be addresses through direct talks between Stepanakert and Baku, with international mechanisms.

He explained that clause 7 of the November 9, 2020 statement stipulates the return of refugees and displaced persons not only to Nagorno-Karabakh but also adjacent regions.

“This means that Armenians of not only a number of villages of Martakert, Hadrut and Martuni, but also Getashen, Martunashen, Shahumyan and other regions must have the opportunity to safely return to their homes, with dignity,” Pashinyan said.

He also told his cabinet that Yerevan has officially submitted new proposals for the much-discussed peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“I’d like to underscore the commitment of the Republic of Armenia to the peace agenda. I have to inform you that we’ve conveyed to the Azerbaijani side our new proposals on a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Pashinyan said.

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