Yerevan will continue its political and diplomatic efforts for the signing of a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said in his speech at the Armenian Parliament on Thursday.
"The reason for the lack of a peace agreement between the parties is the lack of mutual trust. We see Azerbaijan's aggressive behavior in some statements and actions. This has a negative impact on the textualization of the peace agreement," Pashinian said.
The Armenian prime minister noted that some issues need to be clarified regarding the peace agreement and that each proposal should be interpreted differently.
"Our government and I intend to intensify our political and diplomatic efforts to overcome these problems," he emphasized.
Pashinian said that the 7 percent increase in Armenia's 2024 defense budget was not directed at neighboring countries and Azerbaijan.
"This is preparation for peace, not war. Because the sense of security of citizens is the most important guarantee of peace and stability. I am sure that all our neighboring states are convinced that we will not attack anyone. In this context, I do not find the opinions expressed about the reform and achievements of our armed forces sincere," he said.
Pashinian announced that the 2024 defense budget for the Armenian army would be over $1.4 billion, while at the same time aiming to find new arms suppliers and security partners for the development of the army.
The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry announced on Sept. 19 that they had launched a military operation in Karabakh, and the administration in Karabakh called the "Artsakh Republic" but not recognized by Azerbaijan, announced a day later that they had accepted a ceasefire under the mediation of Russian peacekeepers.
Following the ceasefire, two meetings were held between Azerbaijani and Karabakh Armenian representatives in Azerbaijan and Karabakh, and the administration in Karabakh announced on Sept. 28 that the administration would cease to exist as of Jan. 1, 2024.