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 Tuesday, May 17 2022 10:04
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and a settlement of  the Karabakh-Azerbaijani conflict are interconnected, but different  processes - David Babayan

Normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and a settlement of  the Karabakh-Azerbaijani conflict are interconnected, but different  processes - David Babayan

ArmInfo.Normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and a settlement of the  Karabakh-Azerbaijani conflict are interconnected, but different  processes, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Artsakh David Babayan  stated at a Facebook conference held by the Azatutyun Radio.

However, developing the bilateral relations does not at all imply  ignoring the Nagorno-Karabakh process and Artsakh's future or  simultaneous processes, or Nagorno-Karabakh remaining part of  Azerbaijan. 

"No doubt, this is one of the main objectives of official Baku  - and  they do not at all conceal it. They are openly stating that their top  priority is that Armenia itself recognize Artsakh as part of  Azerbaijan. That would be a historical, political, geopolitical and  even moral victory for them," Mr Babayan said. 

According to him, it gives rise to numerous questions concerning  Artsakh's future. In this context, Mr Babayan stressed that Artsakh  will never be part of Azerbaijan, and any attempts of annexation will  result in another genocide and war. 

"And Artsakh's fall will be followed by the fall of Armenian  statehood - and let no one have doubts," Mr Babayan said. 

As regards Armenia's six proposals concerning a peace agreement with  Azerbaijan, he pointed out that the Artsakh authorities and people  have equal votes, as one person cannot decide Nagorno-Karabakh's  fate.

"We have repeatedly addressed the issue at various levels, including  the President of Nagorno-Karabakh.  We emphasized the unacceptability  of becoming part of Azerbaijan, with both the Parliament and foreign  office issuing special statements. No doubt, guaranteeing security to  the people is well and good, but what is this security status? No  status in Azerbaijan can ensure our security. On the contrary, our  very existence will be questioned. Or rather, the outcome is well  known - bloodshed, war massacre. This is Artsakh's position," Mr  Babayan said. 

Speaking of the peace agenda, he stated that Artsakh prefers peace to  war and a peaceful settlement of all the problems, which, however,  does not at all mean Stepanakert will tacitly consent to all the  proposals and to becoming part of Azerbaijan. The so-called "cultural  autonomy" is out of the question. 

"We have experienced all that. What cultural autonomy are you talking  about? We had autonomy in the Soviet Union and it was only due to the  deterrent factor of the Soviet Union that we were not annihilated.   Azerbaijan is not at all concealing its intentions, and any status in  Azerbaijan will lead to Artsakh's fall," Mr Babayan said.  The world  has now entered an era of barefaced geopolitics, and nations must  defend their interests themselves by "holding on to their future like  grim death." 

The Artsakh president is informed of the peace process and  Stepanakert's redline is that Nagorno-Karabakh cannot be part of  Azerbaijan. 

Asked who it was that made Artsakh leave the negotiating table, Mr  Babayan called for the question to be left to historians. The last  trilateral meeting (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh) took  place back in 1996. Later the process was disrupted, he added. 

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