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 Friday, October 7 2022 21:48

Territorial integrity and sovereign territory of Republic of Armenia  not subject to bargaining - Armenia`s foreign office 

Territorial integrity and sovereign territory of Republic of Armenia  not subject to bargaining - Armenia`s foreign office 

ArmInfo. Below is an interview Vahan Hunanyan,  Spokesperson for Armenia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave to the  Armenpress news agency. 

Question: After the quadrilateral meeting in Prague, a statement was  issued, according to which Armenia and Azerbaijan affirmed their  commitment to the UN Charter and the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration, upon  which both sides recognize each other's territorial integrity and  sovereignty. Does this mean that Azerbaijan should withdraw the units  of its armed forces from the sovereign territory of Armenia, invaded  by Azerbaijanis in May 2021, November and September 2022?

Answer: The Armenian side has repeatedly stated that the territorial  integrity and sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia are not  subject to bargaining. We consider the affirmation of this position  of the Armenian side in the statement issued following the  quadrilateral meeting in Prague an important step in terms of  restoring the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia. The  withdrawal of the Azerbaijani armed forces from the sovereign  territory of Armenia, the restraint of Azerbaijan from the  encroachments into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia  and the unconditional observance of the ceasefire regime are  imperative in any case, especially in the context of the Prague  Statement.

Also, affirmation of their commitment to the UN Charter and the 1991  declaration of Alma-Ata by Armenia and Azerbaijan will lay a  foundation for the elaboration of a peace treaty between the two  countries, as well as for the border delimitation works.

Question: There is no reference to Nagorno-Karabakh in the statement.  Was the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict discussed during the meeting? What  future developments can be expected regarding Artsakh, considering  that the sides have affirmed their recognition of each other's  territorial integrity?

Answer: We have repeatedly stated that the issue of the rights and  security of the people of Nagorno- Karabakh is of utmost importance  to us. We raise these issues in all our meetings, including with  international partners. However, Azerbaijan is not inclined to  discuss this issue with Armenia.

The international partners also share the opinion that the issues of  security and protection of all rights of the Armenians of  Nagorno-Karabakh are subject to clarification, and in this regard the  discussions between Stepanakert and Baku through international  tangible mechanisms are important. Armenia, of course, includes the  issue in the framework of discussion in all contacts with Azerbaijan.

Question: The statement also indicates that Armenia agreed to the  deployment of the EU observation mission along the border with  Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan agreed to cooperate as appropriate. Can  we assume that Azerbaijan did not agree with the deployment of the  observers?

Answer: The Armenian side has repeatedly voiced the need for  introducing international fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms  along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The EU civilian mission will  carry out activities along the border of Armenia with Azerbaijan, in  the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. Taking into  account the above, it should be emphasized that there is no question  of Azerbaijan's agreement or disagreement.

Question: Could you specify on which parts of the border the  observers will be deployed, what is the main framework of their  mission and to what extent their presence will reduce the tension on  the border?

Answer: The objectives of the EU civilian mission, as stated in the  Statement, are to build confidence and assist the border commissions  with their observations. It is perhaps too early to speak about the  scope of the functions and mandate, specific locations and other  details of the mission, as these issues are still in the stage of  working discussions.

Question: Was the issue of the repatriation of the Armenian POWs held  in Azerbaijan discussed during the meeting? What developments can be  expected in this matter?

Answer: The issue of the immediate return of Armenian prisoners of  war and civilians illegally detained in Azerbaijan is constantly  raised during all meetings with our international partners. The  meetings in Prague were no exception.  

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