Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   18 January

First President Levon Ter-Petrosyan slams former defense minister's Karabakh statement as "nonsense"

YEREVAN, MAY 14, ARMENPRESS. First President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan has released a new statement on May 14 addressing the earlier voiced statements of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and former defense minister Vigen Sargsyan on being a party to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

The first president’s statement was published as an op-ed on ilur.am.

“Arguing Nikol Pashinyan’s recently expressed idea on Armenia being a party to the Karabakh conflict, the former defense minister has said the following: “Three days ago, Armenia’s Prime Minister expressed a number of stances regarding the settlement of the Karabakh conflict at a press conference, which, in my opinion, can be dangerous…..The Prime Minister has stated that no drastic turns will happen in the foreign policy sector, but at the same time he hinted that Armenia is a party to the conflict. This has always been Azerbaijan’s assertion, whereas the international community knows that Armenia is the guarantor of security of Artsakh, a negotiating partner, but never a “party to the conflict”. This might have far-reaching consequences. Finally, the statements of Pashinyan also include manifestations of ignorance over negotiations details. (Aravot.am 12.05.2018.)

Vigen Sargsyan who is accusing Pashinyan in “being ignorant on negotiating details” is actually disclosing his own total ignorance about the content of the Karabakh settlement process. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabakh have received a “Karabakh conflict party” status by the international community in the OSCE 1994 December 6 Budapest summit final document and more clearly in the 1995 March 31 Prague clarification of the OSCE CiO.

From here it becomes clear that Vigen Sargsyan’s idea claiming that it is Azerbaijan that has always insisted to acknowledge Armenia as a party to the Karabakh conflict, is nonsense. In reality, that isn’t what Azerbaijan has insisted, rather that Armenia to be recognized not as a party to the Karabakh conflict, but as a party to the Karabakh War, i.e. an aggressor. This aspiration of Azerbaijan has been thwarted through the brilliant efforts of Armenian diplomacy in four resolutions of the UN Security Council, where it is clearly stipulated that the surrounding Azerbaijani regions of Karabakh have been captured not by the Army of Armenia, but by the local Armenian forces.

If the defense minister of Armenia hasn’t understood the difference between this elementary realities, then the Armenian people must be happy that it has been freed from this person who had declared himself to be the father of Nation-Army [concept].

Out of context, perhaps it is noteworthy to remind that the achievements of the “full and equal party of the conflict” internationally recognized status of Nagorno Karabakh was the greatest achievement of Armenian diplomacy, which was misled by Robert Kocharyan’s [2nd president], to say the least, criminal negligence, which became the basis of all future complications which arose in the Karabakh conflict settlement process”, Levon Ter-Petrosyan said.

ENGLISH: Editor/Translator - Stepan Kocharyan

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