Thursday, December 5 2019 17:50
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Mnatsakanyan presents Yerevan`s position on key issues of Karabakh  conflict settlement at OSCE

Mnatsakanyan presents Yerevan`s position on key issues of Karabakh  conflict settlement at OSCE

ArmInfo Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, during his speech at the 26th meeting of the OSCE Foreign Ministers Council in Bratislava, informed about  the meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov  yesterday, and in this context presented Yerevan's position on key  issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. ArmInfo was  informed about this in the press service of the RA MFA.

As the press service of Armenian  MFA reports, Mnatsakanyan in his  speech, in particular, stated: "Yesterday we held another round of  consultations with my Azerbaijani counterpart and the OSCE Minsk  Group Co-Chairs, the fifth in a row only for this year.  In this  respect I would outline the position of Armenia on the key aspects of  the peaceful settlement of the NK conflict.

First, there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement of the  conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, a format which  is internationally mandated and supported.

Second, the inalienable right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to  self-determination represents a fundamental principle and foundation  for the peaceful resolution. The recognition of this principle not to  be limited in the scope of determination for the final status of  Nagorno-Karabakh must be clearly and unequivocally accepted. The term  "without limitation" clearly implies also the right of the people of  Nagorno-Karabakh to maintain and determine a status outside the  jurisdiction, sovereignty or territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The  persistent hostile policies and actions of Azerbaijan aimed at  undermining and threatening the existential physical security of the  people of Nagorno- Karabakh, including the latest attempted  aggression by Azerbaijan against Nagorno- Karabakh in April 2016,  emphasize the illegitimacy and  impossibility of claiming  jurisdiction by Azerbaijan over the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan must assume direct commitment to recognition of the right  to self- determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh by way of  legally binding free expression of the will of the people living in  Nagorno-Karabakh, the outcome of which should have no limitation.

Third, the security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will not be  compromised. Under no circumstances the people of Nagorno-Karabakh  should be left without secure lines of defense. There will be no  condition assuming a risk to existential physical security of the  people of Nagorno-Karabakh as it was the case in 1991-1994 and in  2016. To underline this point, I refer to the situation in the  territories of Nagorno-Karabakh, presently occupied by Azerbaijan, in  which Armenians were ethnically-cleansed and territories were  completely resettled by Azerbaijanis. This reality has recently been  presented by the leadership of Azerbaijan as a good example of a  settlement of the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict.

Fourth, the peaceful settlement should be inclusive by directly  engaging all the parties to the conflict. Therefore, Nagorno-Karabakh  through its elected representatives should be a direct party to the  negotiating process. In this respect, we emphasize the necessity of  full engagement of the elected representatives of Artsakh in the  peace process, particularly on the core issues of substance. The  government of Armenia will never engage in any activities which can  violate the right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to freely  determine their political status or  can deprive them of the  ownership of this process. 

Fifth, peaceful settlement cannot take place in an environment of  tensions and risks of escalation. Therefore the 1994 and 1995  ceasefire agreements concluded between Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh  and Armenia should be strictly adhered to and strengthened. Risk  reduction mechanisms, including the OSCE mechanisms investigating  ceasefire violations and monitoring ceasefire regime, including by  way of expanding the office of the PRCiO should be implemented.   Sixth, the basic principle of non-use of force or threat of use of  force should be unconditionally adhered to. The policies of hatred,  intolerance, xenophobia, Armenophobia, instigated and directed by the  leadership of Azerbaijan should be denounced. Efforts should be  reinforced to prepare populations for peace and to establish an  environment conducive to peace.  Seventh, the maximalist positions of  Azerbaijan, which ignore the will and sensitivities of the people of  Nagorno-Karabakh are fundamental obstacles to a meaningful progress  in the peace process. The inability of the authorities of Azerbaijan  to reciprocate the call for a compromise by Armenia is a point in  case. To remind, the Prime Minister of Armenia demonstrated strong  political will in announcing that any settlement should be acceptable  to the people of Armenia, Artsakh and Azerbaijan, which is to say  that the settlement can be only based on a compromise.

Mr. Chairman, Armenia remains engaged in good faith in the  negotiating process and will continue to consistently work towards  the peaceful settlement. At the same time, it is unacceptable that in  light of the present domestic political developments in Azerbaijan,  the latter sets out preconditions for the peace process, as  manifested in a position paper circulated on the eve of this  Ministerial Council. Armenia rejects such non-constructive approach.   Finally, in the past month we have demonstrated a modest, and yet  important example of confidence building between all the parties to  the conflict. The exchange of journalists from Armenia,  Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan is a promising example of promising  example of building trust and inclusive dialogue between the parties  at the public level.  We are ready to further build on this example.  Also, the relatively low level of violence along the line of contact  and the international border, as well as the use of direct  communication line should be sustained and enhanced. However, we  remain seriously concerned that despite these measures, there have  been losses and injuries which could have been avoided.

Delivering on the  commitments is key in building trust towards the  prospects for the final settlement of the conflict.  In conclusion, I  would like to welcome Albania as incoming Chair and wish them every  success.

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