Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   20 April

PM Pashinyan speaks about Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement process

YEREVAN, APRIL 15, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan expects that the instructions given to the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan by the leaders of the countries will be implemented, while the instructions are about having discussions over the issues and agenda discussed in Vienna by Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in March and trying to bring the positions close to each other, ARMENPRESS reports Pashinyan told the reporters following his visit to the Agrarian University of Armenia.

Question – Today is the meeting of the Foreign Ministers. Last time you said that you have launched the negotiations from a new point.  What are your expectations from this meeting in this context?

PM Pashinyan – I expect from the meeting that the instructions I and the Azerbaijani president have given to the foreign ministers will be implemented, while the instructions are about having discussions over the issues and agenda discussed in and trying to bring the positions close to each other.

Question – The Russian FM also participates in the meeting? How can it be explained?

PM Pashinyan – There is nothing strange, since Russia is an OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair country, and I think such a practice has been in the past and will be in the future. The meeting can take place under the auspices of the Russian foreign minister, as well as the French foreign minister or the U.S. Secretary of State. So I think no extraordinary thing here.

Question – In your speech in Strasburg you emphasized the position of the Armenian side over Artsakh issue solution, but Baku again reacted in the old manner, the so-called “occupied territories and withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces”. Under such conditions how does the Armenian side see the continuation of the negotiations?

PM Pashinyan –  I said in my speech at the Congress of the Yerkrapah Volunteers Union (YVU) that one of the greatest problems is that the announcements prior and following the meetings sometimes do not correspond to the nature of the negotiations. In Vienna, before it and after it, my call will be about that, that let’s not to say much about the talks if it is necessary, but we should say something so that people can understand that they cope with serious people, because can you imagine what an unserious situation it is, when the leaders of two countries speak to each other in a room for 2 hours, and later the public can in no way understand from their announcements what they have discussed. This is the greatest problem for the negotiations, because there is a tradition coming from the past. I do not bear that tradition and therefore I have nothing to do about that. But there is tradition coming from the past that after each meeting one tries to prove that he is the winner, and the other tries to prove that he is the winner. This is a wrong approach.

Question – Many analysts say that when Armenia is endlessly preaching peace….

PM Pashinyan – I am sorry but we are not endlessly preaching peace. The words are very important. We do not endlessly preach peace. We preach peace in some definite limits. They are very different.

Question – In that case, what should be the position of the Armenian side, given permanent aggressive rhetoric from the other side?

PM Pashinyan – We continue the negotiations, and again we go back to the previous question. The sides should be on the same level of approaches. We try to do that and if necessary we change our approach to bring our colleagues to the same approach, because the general idea of our conversations in Vienna, Davos, St. Petersburg and Dushanbe is that we should make efforts for the solution of this problem, for the peaceful settlement. And I hope that we are all sincere in our aspirations, because if one of the sides tries to deceive the other, it will lead to somewhere else. We do not endlessly preach something, we do not preach anything at all, we make proposals over creating some platforms for the settlement of the issue. There is the option of war, and there is the option of peace. We have told that no one can threaten us by war, no one should try to do so, and we do not threaten anyone. Let’s decide, do we want to solve the issue peacefully or no? But I think that any rational individual should solve the problem, try to solve it peacefully. Otherwise, what’s the negotiation process for?

Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan

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