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YEREVAN.-  The situation over Nagorno-Karabakh remains a challenge for the region and Europe’s security, said President Serzh Sargsyan.

“We do not see an alternative to peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group,” he said during a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer.

He said Azerbaijan’s policy, militant rhetoric and ungrounded self-confidence, brings about tension at the line of contact between the armed forces of Karabakh and Azerbaijan as well as on Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Young people were killed in the incidents and the situation has become tense, Sargsyan added.

President recalled the recent statement made by the OSCE Co-Chairing states in Los Cabos urging the sides to maintain ceasefire. The mediators also stressed that the Karabakh conflict must be solved based on the Helsniki principles – non-use of force or threat of force, nations’ right to self-determination and territorial integrity.

“We are ready to move forward on the background of these principles. Speediest resolution is in the interests of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Which are the obstacles? I think during the recent few months the world community could learn about it,” he said pointing at Azerbaijan’s maximalist position.

Despite the voiced statements, Azerbaijan in fact supports only the principle of territorial integrity excluding the principle of nations’ right to self-determination and peaceful resolution of the conflict. The President believes as soon as the sides are able to accept the principles in reality, the conflict will be resolved.

 Photo by Sona Barseghyan

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