Artsakh’s participation in negotiation process a mandatory condition for reaching lasting peace – MFA spox

By Armenpress | Tuesday, 22 May 2018

YEREVAN, MAY 22, ARMENPRESS. Artsakh’s participation in the negotiation process on the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is a mandatory condition for reaching a concrete, balanced and lasting peace, Tigran Balayan - spokesperson of the foreign ministry, said at a press briefing on May 22, reports Armenpress.

“Today our task is that the Azerbaijani leadership, which negotiates on behalf of Azerbaijan since 2003, must clearly understand that the way to reach lasting and firm settlement is to negotiate with Karabakh. We are not refusing from the negotiations, we will continue the negotiations as Armenia, as Artsakh’s guarantor, but at the same time stating that Artsakh should become a participant of the negotiations”, Tigran Balayan said.

Introducing new Armenian foreign minister’s stance on the statement of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, according to which Artsakh should be a party to the negotiation, Tigran Balayan said it’s not something new that Armenia insists on Artsakh’s participation, this has been stated for years. “Now the realities have just changed which supposes Artsakh’s more engagement in the negotiation process”, the MFA spokesman said.

Asked with what mechanisms Artsakh’s broader engagement in the negotiations can be ensured, Tigran Balayan said Artsakh is involved in the negotiations in this or that way, there are documents which mention the participation of all sides. “But the problem is different: Azerbaijan for years has rejected to directly negotiate with Karabakh. I want to remind that the main result of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement - the establishment of ceasefire in 1994, has taken place as a result of direct negotiations of Karabakh and Azerbaijan. Karabakh’s President at that time Robert Kocharyan and Azerbaijani president of that time Heydar Aliyev held meetings, as well as direct phone conversations”, Tigran Balayan added.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan considers the negotiations with a right format as the most important component for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, and Artsakh should definitely participate in these negotiations.