ArmInfo. Artsakh has never been a part of independent Azerbaijan. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian stated this during his speech in the Italian community on relations with international organizations under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country.
As evidence of his words, Nalbandian cited an excerpt from a letter of the diplomatic representative of the Italian Foreign Ministry, Gorini, dated 1920, which states that Nagorno-Karabakh is a part of the Republic of Armenia. Nevertheless, the minister continued, in 1921, by Stalin's sole decision, Nagorno-Karabakh was included in the composition of Soviet Azerbaijan as an autonomous region, despite the fact that 90% of its population was Armenians. Then he told about the Karabakh movement for independence, which started in 1988, about the referendum for self-determination from 1991, after which Nagorno-Karabakh was proclaimed as an independent republic. And in 1999 the European Parliament issued a special resolution proclaiming that the NKR had self-determined on the same legal bases as the other post-Soviet republics.
As Nalbandyan noted, Azerbaijan responded to these processes with the slaughter of Armenians living in the republic. More than 400 000 Armenians were forcibly deported. "Then the war began, which ended in 1994 with the ceasefire agreement signed by Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan," the minister recalled, stressing that over the years Azerbaijan permanently violates this treaty, including by violating all international legal and humanitarian norms, the culmination of which was the April war, initiated by Baku.
According to the minister, Baku, straining the situation in the Karabakh conflict zone, is trying to divert attention from the domestic problems of the country, including the socio-economic crisis and violation of democratic rights and freedoms.
The minister also recalled that since 1997 the OSCE Minsk Group (USA, Russia, France) is mediators in the settlement of the conflict, which was repeatedly close to the settlement of the problem - in Key West in 2001, in Kazan in 2011, however, Baku every time frustrated these efforts.
According to him, in recent years, negotiations are being conducted on the basis of key principles for the settlement of the problem - the Madrid document, developed by the OSCE Minsk Group. "The heads of the countries of the mediators made five statements, stressing that the conflict should be resolved on the basis of three fundamental principles - the right of peoples to self-determination, the principle of the territorial integrity of states and the preservation of the ceasefire. They also stated that the status of Nagorno- Karabakh must be determined by having the legal will of the Karabakh people," Nalbandian said, stressing that the European Union is promoting the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group in resolving the problem.
According to him, the mediators offered a civilized way of solving the problem on the basis of mutual entitlements. However, he stressed, Baku this time also adheres to a maximalist, uncompromising position, constantly threatening with a new war, thereby taking hostage negotiations, blackmailing and discrediting the mediators.
"Azerbaijan is doing everything to ruin the efforts of the mediators and the agreements reached with their assistance - the expansion of the office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the establishment of mechanisms to study cases of ceasefire violation," the report reads. Nevertheless, Nalbandian stressed, even in the absence of stable monitoring mechanisms for border incidents, it is clear who is their initiator.
"Considering Baku's disregard for international efforts, it is time for the international community to take realistic measures to curb provocative and aggressive policies of Azerbaijan," Nalbandian said, stressing that the negotiations have no alternative. "Armenia, along with the Minsk mediators, will continue efforts towards a peaceful solution of the problem," he continued, stressing that no one is free to choose neighbors, but each country, including Armenia, must promote international peace, good-neighborly relations and partnership.
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