Artsakh’s involvement has vital importance in NK conflict settlement, Pashinyan reiterates his approaches
YEREVAN, MARCH 12, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian government will take consistent steps to ensure the involvement of Artsakh in the negotiation process for the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement as the main party to the conflict, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan said during the joint session of the Security Councils of Armenia and Artsakh in Stepanakert, reports Armenpress.
“After the December 9, 2018, parliamentary elections of Armenia, this is my first visit to the Republic of Artsakh and I want to state that based on the election results the My Step bloc has received a strong mandate from the people of Armenia to raise the subjectivity level of the Artsakh Republic and take actions to ensure the involvement of Artsakh in the negotiation process for the Artsakh conflict settlement as the main party to the conflict. These are points which were very vital in the pre-election program of the My Step alliance. Therefore, the government of Armenia and I, as a prime minister who received the people’s trust vote, will take consistent steps on this path, and this issue has been and will remain one of the key points of our discussions with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. I want to underline that Artsakh’s involvement in the negotiation process is not a whim for us, not even a precondition, but a simple recording of the fact that Artsakh’s engagement is vital for the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement. This position reflects our respect not only towards the people of Artsakh and their rights, but also towards all our colleagues participating in the negotiation process because we are really interested in and want to reach the exclusively peaceful settlement of the conflict and believe in the negotiation process the efficiency of which is a key priority for us, and as I said, this issue is vital in terms of the efficiency of the negotiation process”, the Armenian PM said.
Pashinyan added that the well-known framework of the negotiations, in fact, involves all concerned sides, except one. Azerbaijan, in the person of president Aliyev, is represented in these negotiations. “The latter is also representing, as he himself likes to say, the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno Karabakh, because the representatives of this community, being a citizen of Azerbaijan, participated in the Azerbaijani presidential election, and thus, have granted a power to the Azerbaijani president to represent them, therefore, the presence of the Azerbaijani president around the negotiation table also ensures the presence of Azerbaijanis who lived in Karabakh in the past.
The Republic of Armenia is also represented in these negotiations in the person of its Prime Minister who in this case acts as a representative elected by the people of Armenia. Therefore, the people of Armenia are also represented in the negotiation process”, Pashinyan noted.
He stated that the international community is also represented in the negotiation process in the person of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. According to the PM, all this of course, is good and very important. “We highly appreciate the efforts the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have made and continue making in the settlement process. But the main issue is the following: who is representing the people of Artsakh, or as it is said in some cases, the Armenians of Karabakh in the negotiation process? The problem is that today there is no representative in the negotiation process who has a power and legitimacy to represent the people of Artsakh, because there is no subject having the power and vote of the Artsakh people, or as our some partners prefer to say, the Armenians of Karabakh, around the negotiation table. I have repeatedly stated that the Armenian PM cannot implement such authority due to the simple reason that the people of Artsakh are not participating and voting in the elections in Armenia, and therefore, the PM of Armenia is not included in the circle of persons having a power to represent the people of Artsakh. And this is not a matter of whim, precondition, but a matter of simple legitimacy, and legitimacy is a key factor of modern relations, not only domestic political, but also inter-state and international relations. By the way, all the comments that the Republic of Armenia or the Prime Minister by this way are shaking off responsibility and put it on the leadership or people of Artsakh are absurd. In order to avoid any manipulation, I find it necessary to note that the Republic of Armenia has been, is and will remain the number one guarantor of Artsakh’s security and will continue its involvement in the peace process”, Nikol Pashinyan said.
Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan