Armenia and Azerbaijan speak different diplomatic languages, Armenia's leader says

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Saturday that his country and Azerbaijan are speaking “different diplomatic languages” even though they were able to agree on the basic principles for a peace treaty.

Azerbaijan waged a lightning military campaign in September in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The offensive ended three decades of rule there by ethnic Armenians and resulted in the vast majority of the 120,000 residents fleeing the region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Pashinyan said it was “good that the basic principles of peace with Azerbaijan have been agreed upon.” The principles include Armenia and Azerbaijan recognizing each other’s territorial integrity.

But Armenian state news agency Armenpress quoted Pashinyan as going on to say, “We have good and bad news about the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process.” He said that Azerbaijan did not publicly comment on the agreed-upon peace outline announced last month, making him question its commitment and fostering what Pashinyan described as an atmosphere of mistrust.

Rhetoric by Azerbaijani officials that he said included referring to Armenia as “Western Azerbaijan" leaves the door open for further “military aggression” against Armenia, the prime minister said.

“This seems to us to be preparation for a new war, a new military aggression against Armenia, and it is one of the main obstacles to progress in the peace process,” Pashinyan said.

The OSCE's Parliamentary Assembly opened its fall meeting on Saturday in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital. On Thursday, the government of Azerbaijan said it would not participate in normalization talks with Armenia that were planned to take place in the United States later this month.