ArmInfo. The processes of the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh, expansion of its international integration and the negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict are proceeding in parallel.
As the NKR MFA press service reports, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh (Nagorno- Karabakh Republic) Masis Mayilian said this on January 15 at a press conference summarizing the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 2019.
At the same time, he stressed that the redoubling of the efforts of the policy aimed at the international recognition of Artsakh would not only help to alleviate Azerbaijan's uncompromising negotiating positions, but would also contribute to raising the level of Artsakh's security and regional stability.Masis Mayilian stressed that in order to make real progress in the peace process and reach a final settlement of the conflict, it is necessary to restore the full trilateral format of the negotiation process with the full-fledged participation of official Stepanakert.
The Foreign Minister also noted that in 2019, the peace process on the settlement of the Azerbaijan- Karabakh conflict was largely aimed at maintaining stability in the region. It was noted that in general, the ceasefire regime was maintained at the state border between Artsakh and Azerbaijan. Emphasizing the importance of excluding the prospects of war and ensuring stability in the conflict zone, Masis Mayilian emphasized that the Artsakh authorities continued to support the OSCE mission's regular monitoring of the ceasefire.
The Foreign Minister also noted that during the year a number of confidence-building measures were agreed and implemented between the parties to the conflict aimed at creating favorable conditions for the promotion of the peace process. Masis Mayilian also underlined the importance of the meeting with the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, during which the NKR Foreign Minister presented the Republic's position on the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict settlement. With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, head of the Artsakh Union of Armenian Refugees from Azerbaijan Sarasar Saryan had an opportunity to present to the OSCE Chairman-in-Office the situation regarding the refugees in Artsakh.
The Minister also noted that during the year the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs visited Stepanakert twice, met with the President of Artsakh, the Foreign Minister and the Minister of Defense. Masis Mayilian noted that the year of 2019 had marked the 25th anniversary of the most important document in the Azerbaijan- Karabakh conflict settlement process - the Agreement on the full cessation of fire and hostilities, signed by Artsakh, the Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan, which had allowed to transfer the conflict settlement to the diplomatic realm. In this regard, on May 10, a conference was organized in Stepanakert at the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh, with the participation of political and public figures from Artsakh, Armenia and Russia. Former Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Vladimir Kazimirov participated in the conference as an honorable guest.
During the press conference, Masis Mayilian also noted the high level of cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of Artsakh and Armenia, which allows Stepanakert to present to the counterparts in Yerevan the position of Artsakh on different key aspects of the Pan-Armenian agenda, as well as issues related to the peace process. In this context, Masis Mayilian stressed the importance of signing on July 5 the Plan of consultations between the Foreign Ministries of the Republic of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia for 2019-2020, which allows the two Foreign Ministries to intensify the cooperation at the institutional level.
The Foreign Minister also noted that at the initiative of the Foreign Ministry the procedure for issuing visas to foreign tourists was revised. This step, along with nationwide and international political, sports and cultural events held in Artsakh, including, in particular, the Friends of Artsakh Forum, the European Championship of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations and the Pan- Armenian Games, allowed to register a record growth in the number of foreign citizens who had visited Artsakh. Compared with the previous year, the growth in 2019 amounted to around 47 % percent.