The railways passing through the south and north of Armenia have not been functioning regionally for thirty years, nor are many highways connecting the east and the west, while the reactivation of these roads would become a short and efficient route connecting the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, both by rail and road, the Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, addressed Tbilisi Silk Road Forum.
Armenian PM highlighted the importance of long-term peace in the South Caucasus.
“Obviously, our region, the South Caucasus, needs peace. And what is peace? It is a state of affairs where countries live with open borders, are connected by active economic, political, and cultural ties, with accumulated experience and tradition of solving all issues diplomatically and through dialogue. This is what real peace is; and as you see, all of that, i.e. open borders, economic, political, and cultural ties are impossible without roads.
This is the reason why our Government developed and presents the “Crossroads of Peace” project as an important part of the peace agenda. The key essence of that project is the development of communications between Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and the Islamic Republic of Iran by means of renovating, building, and operating roads, railways, pipelines, cables, and electricity lines.
The railways passing through the south and north of Armenia have not been functioning regionally for thirty years, nor are many highways connecting the east and the west, while the reactivation of these roads would become a short and efficient route connecting the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, both by rail and road.
Along the same lines, these rail and automotive communications could become an efficient route linking the Gulf with the Georgian ports on the South-Eastern shores of the Black Sea. Such a project would bring enormous benefits to all countries of our region, and I wish to invite the attention of governments and private investors to this opportunity,” Nikol Pashinyan, has stated.
PM Pashinyan expressed hope for the successful completion of the ongoing efforts to achieve a relations normalization agreement with Azerbaijan.
“Crossroads for Peace is an integral part of the peace agenda. We are currently working on a draft peace and relations normalization agreement with Azerbaijan, and I hope this process will be successfully completed in the coming months.
I consider it necessary to present also the other two important principles of peace, on which we reached an agreement with Azerbaijan.
– Armenia and Azerbaijan mutually recognize each other’s territorial integrity with the understanding that the territory of Armenia is 29,800 square kilometres, the territory of Azerbaijan is 86,600. This encyclopedic reference was meant to ensure that statements made by Armenia and Azerbaijan about recognition of each other’s territorial integrity leave no room for claiming that by recognizing the other country’s territorial integrity, one of the countries has in mind only a part of its internationally-recognized territory.
– The next principle is that Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to carry out border delimitation on the basis of the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration. The key essence of Alma-Ata’s declaration is as follows.
– The Soviet Union ceases to exist and the 12 republics that signed the Declaration, including Armenia and Azerbaijan, recognize each other’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, the inviolability of existing, that is, administrative borders, and therefore the existing administrative borders between the republics of the Soviet Union become state borders.
As I said, we hope to sign an Agreement on Peace and Establishment of Relations with Azerbaijan in the coming months based on these principles.
I hope that in the near future there will be developments in the direction of opening the border between Armenia and Turkey for citizens of third countries and holders of diplomatic passports, which will also bring a positive stimulus to the entire region.
Returning to the “Crossroads of Peace”, I must note that it fully fits in the logic of the Silk Road and we will be glad to receive in Armenia’s territory and to safely dispatch people, vehicles, goods, pipelines, cables, and electricity lines,” Nikol Pashinyan has declared.