Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan reaffirms the approach that the negotiations over settling the NK conflict cannot be effective until one of the parties to the conflict – the leadership of Artsakh – doesn’t participate in them.
PM Nikol Pashinyan vows ‘crushing blow of Armenia’s military and people’ to any adventurism of Azerbaijan
STEPANAKERT, JUNE 7, ARTSAKHPRESS-ARMENPRESS: Speaking to lawmakers during today’s parliamentary debates of the government program, Pashinyan stressed that many have found this approach to be something new in the negotiations process. “But this is the case when the given approach doesn’t contain anything new, and what is considered as something new is simply the well forgotten old thing. The fact that Artsakh is a full party to the conflict was confirmed in the 1994 Budapest summit, and the negotiations resumed in this format until 1998,” he said.
He stressed that after 1998 Armenia has negotiated on behalf of Karabakh. “Were they right or wrong to do so? That is another matter, but they’ve had a reason for it. Before coming to Armenia Robert Kocharyan was the elected President of Armenia, and Serzh Sargsyan was one of the organizers of Artsakh’s self-defense movement. Therefore, they could have had or they could have attributed to themselves the mandate of negotiating on behalf of Karabakh, regardless of how they feel about it. But I can’t do the same. I can’t attribute the right of negotiating on behalf of Karabakh to me even in case of the greatest desire, because there are no legal, political or moral grounds for it. The people of Nagorno Karabakh do not take part in the Armenian elections, they do not take part in forming the government in Armenia, and instead they have their own government, their parliament, their president, and they can be represented only by a representative having the lawful and legitimate grounds of doing so,” he said.
He said that every time when the issue of Karabakh’s participation in the talks is brought up, Azerbaijan starts claiming that in this case the so called “representatives of the Azerbaijani community” must take part in the talks as an autonomous party. According to PM Pashinyan, this is actually a false argument, because the civil status of the Azerbaijanis who lives in Nagorno Karabakh hasn’t been changed due to the conflict. “Both before and after the conflict they continue being citizens of Azerbaijan and as citizens of that country they continue participating in the elections, including presidential elections. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is participating in these negotiations with the mandate given to him by these people, so these people are already involved in the negotiations process – in person of the incumbent President of Azerbaijan,” he said.
“Like I said before, I am ready to negotiate with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship, but until then I feel obliged to do my best for increasing the productivity of the talks. If we are negotiating for truly settling the issue and not simply for negotiating. I think working on the realization of the previously reached agreements isn’t less important for making the talks truly effective. This is a significant issue, because it will be a bit inconvenient to negotiate for achieving new agreements, if the previous ones remain unrealized,” he said.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan expressed conviction that the NK conflict doesn’t have a military solution, but at the same time he stressed that any adventurism of the adversary will be met by the crushing blow of the Armenian armed forces and the Armenian people.