Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   20 September

Issue of restoring full format of negotiations of NK conflict is on agenda – Armenian FM

YEREVAN, JULY 5, ARMENPRESS. Armenian foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who is in Artsakh on a working visit, introduced details from his meet with President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan during a press briefing with reporters. He stated that one of the most important goals is to ensure the deep feeling and engagement of the Artsakh authorities in the peaceful settlement process of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

“This is a very important function, because the issue concerns Artsakh, the security of its people, and Artsakh is a political unit which has its leadership elected by the people and deep responsibility on this matter. The strengthening of that feeling of ownership both in the context of the negotiation process and peaceful settlement process is a very important issue for all of us, and it is in this context the purpose of my today’s visit is formed”, the Armenian FM said.

He said the peaceful settlement process, the consultations and meetings are continuous, reminding the recent meeting in Washington D.C. which is a continuous process.

“Our meetings will continue in the Artsakh foreign ministry, and we will continue the work with my colleague, Foreign Minister Masis Mayilyan, in order to strengthen the sense of ownership among the Artsakh authorities to this process, jointly assess the stage and functions which are necessary for us to prepare and continue working towards the peaceful settlement. I want to state once again that the Nagorno Karabakh conflict has been and remains a key priority issue for us, the existential security of the people of Artsakh from which derives the issue of the status of Artsakh”, he said.

Asked whether the issue of restoring the full format of negotiations is on agenda, the minister said it is definitely on agenda. He noted that the current leadership has put forward this issue that Nagorno Karabakh should have a full engagement because it is the subject of this process.

“We understand that if this issue was easy, it would have been solved long ago. This is an agenda issue, which is persecuted regularly, consistently, because we have a priority issue: this is a practical issue, a pragmatic approach that if we are talking about complete and effective negotiation, peaceful settlement process and are thinking of not taking into account this important factor relating to Nagorno Karabakh’s engagement and strengthening of sense of ownership in this process, practically we damage the productive work of the peaceful settlement process. You remember that we had a joint session of Security Councils in Stepanakert during which we all thoroughly talked about this issue and stated that we will never put this as a precondition, but we should accept that this a concrete issue and is impossible to ignore”, the Armenian FM said.

In response to reporters’ observation that his meeting with the President of Artsakh lasted over three hours, the minister said he even didn’t notice how fast that three hours passed.

“But this shows the seriousness of our dialogue, the fact that we are fully engaged in the process of mutual notification, consultations and joint work. This is a joint issue, our common issue. And this reflects the intention we talk about now, the intention to ensure Artsakh’s engagement in the peaceful settlement process, the sense of ownership among the Artsakh authorities”, he said.

Commenting on the question relating to the so-called “Azerbaijani community of Karabakh” circulated by Azerbaijan, the FM stated: “You know the answer of this question and you are asking a question to me, the response of which you have. If the Azerbaijani leadership doesn’t express the interests of the community you are talking about, and if that community has not taken part in the Azerbaijani presidential election, and there are similar issues there, it’s not me to discuss this”.

Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan


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