Pashinyan speaks in Paris on Nov. 12. Official photo

Speaking at a conference in Paris, France on November 12, Armenia’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan addressed the Karabakh conflict at length, while expressing Armenia’s “peace[ful] intentions to the Azerbaijani people.”

Pashinyan said that he was “personally ready to start a dialogue not only with the Azerbaijani government, but also with the Azerbaijani people directly, because I think we have many things to discuss.” The comments came after Pashinyan detailed the state of Azerbaijan’s official existing hostility towards ethnic Armenians.

In particular, Armenia’s prime minister pointed to last week’s report by Baku police that it detained someone over playing an Armenian language song in his car. He also discussed Azerbaijan’s policy barring individuals with Armenian names, independent of their citizenship, from entering Azerbaijan.

Soon after his election as prime minister Pashinyan indicated his readiness to “democratize” Karabakh negotiations, though no concrete steps have been reported in the year since.

Similarly, former Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan suggested two years ago that he was “certain that the Azerbaijani people wishes for peace,” though he also took no initiative to directly engage with them.