February 18
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YEREVAN. – Armenia cannot negotiate instead of Artsakh; it can negotiate only for its own stead.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia, Shavarsh Kocharyan, on Tuesday told the aforesaid to reporters at the National Assembly.

In his words, the overwhelming majority of the matters that are put on the negotiating table refer to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) itself.

“Armenia can’t negotiate instead of Artsakh in at least two matters,” Kocharyan explained. “The first refers to the status of Artsakh, and the second—to the matter of territorial integrity of Artsakh.”

When asked as to on which matters Armenia can negotiate, he stressed that we should not forget the need for negotiations for the sake of preventing military actions.

“Of course Armenia should negotiate,” the deputy FM noted. “But Armenia can’t negotiate on matters that are in the domain of the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh.”

In his conviction, Azerbaijan would like very much for Armenia to be in the negotiations so that Baku can represent the Karabakh conflict as a dispute between two countries.

“Of course that’s ruled out; we have all the arguments that it will not be so,” Kocharyan added. “The [respective] arguments are numerous.

“When Azerbaijan truly wishes to make progress in the negotiation process, it shall directly negotiate with Stepanakert, rather than pretending that there is no such subject.”

In his conviction, at present, there is no the possibility of progress in the negotiations because of Azerbaijan’s policy.

“Once Baku will accept Karabakh as a full-fledged negotiating party, we can expect that there can be progress in negotiations,” he added, in particular.

And to the remark that if the ball is on Azerbaijan’s court, it will not go to such a change in the format of the negotiations, and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs cannot force Baku in this regard, Shavarsh Kocharyan responded as follows: “The ball is on Baku’s court for more than twenty years, whereas the Minsk Group doesn’t have a mandate of imposing; their mandate refers to bringing the positions of the parties [to the Karabakh conflict] closer [to one another’s].”

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