YEREVAN. – Armenia has been and remains guarantor of Artsakh's security, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan told reporters in Yerevan on Friday.
Asked whether the attitude of the Armenian side towar the principles and elements on the negotiating table is changing, the minister recalled that at the joint meeting of the Security Council of Armenia and Artsakh in Stepanakert, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan unequivocally stated that there are principles and elements, and the matter is how they are interpreted and perceived.
“We clearly said that Armenia’s priorities are status and security of Artsakh. Participaton of Nagorno Karabakh, its decisive voice is not a condition, but a move contributing to the efficiency of the negotiations,” Mnatsakanyan said.
At the same time the minister added that seeking solution that is acceptable for all three nations cannot be unilateral, each of the parties has to make a contribution, including on the matter of creating an atmosphere of confidence.
“We are trying to give momentum to efficient advancement of the negotiations by new ideas and approaches,” he said.
At the same time he noted that Armenia is consistently holding negotiations both with Artsakh and within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.
“The authorities of Armenia and Artsakh are different units. We in no way give up our position and our role. Armenia has been and remains the security guarantor of Artsakh. Realizing our role and remaining committed to the negotiation process, we can have approaches that we want to discuss with our Artsakh colleagues, this is normal,” the minister noted.
Returning to interpretation and comparison of the approaches and obligations, the Foreign Minister stressed that imbalance is unacceptable.
“If it is expected that one side can be more compliant, this approach will not work. We have repeatedly said that the problem concerns a person, 150 thousand people. Their safety remains a crucial issue. We need to talk about their physical security. This is the main approach. Nagorno-Karabakh is a political unit that has every reason to build its own life,” he added.
Aked about Baku’s claims that changing the format of the negotiations would lead them to a dead end, the minister assured that Armenia would not do something that would bring talks to a stalemate.
“We are committed to a peaceful settlement. We will resolutely move forward. But in order to continue the negotiations effectively, it is necessary in practice to accept the need to express the decisive vote of Artsakh,” the minister said.
He recalled that the people of Karabakh elected their own authorities, but did not choose the authorities of Armenia, and the system of government in Artsakh was recognized in various documents by the international community. At the same time, the minister stressed the need to create an atmosphere of trust in the region, and it is important for Azerbaijan to work in this direction as well.