Armenia is certain about the current democratic process and believes democracy will become a great contribution to peace and stability in the region and in all countries of the region. This is what Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan stated during an event entitled “Armenia: A Year After Transition to Democracy” and held at the United Nations Office at Geneva yesterday.
“Touching upon the Karabakh issue, I had the opportunity to talk about this and would like to emphasize once again that Artsakh is represented by people. There are 150,000 real people living in Artsakh with their names, families and serious concerns about their lives and physical safety. Why? It is because, and I don’t want to remind this, but the 70 years of being under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan were a period of ongoing and systemic discrimination for Nagorno-Karabakh.
The situation in the early 1990s was such that more than 40% of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh was under the control of Azerbaijan, and more than 40% of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh was subjected to ethnic cleansing. There was a moment when there might not have been any discussion on Nagorno-Karabakh because Nagorno-Karabakh might simply not have existed.
Later, there was an ongoing hate propaganda guided by the government (Armenophobia), which entails the growth of concerns about a threat to existence and physical safety. The glorification of assassin Ramil Safarov serves as a brilliant example of this. When a mentally imbalanced person kills a sleeping Armenian officer at midnight, returns to Azerbaijan and is greeted as a hero of the nation just because he killed an Armenian, this gives the Azerbaijani society something to think about.
When the same thing happens as a sign of encouragement during the aggression against Artsakh in April 2016, this should also give the Azerbaijani society something to think about. Thus, this concerns the security of people, 150,000 people in Nagorno-Karabakh and their physical existence.
For these people, there is no other security system than the one that exists today. Armenia is the guarantor of safety of Nagorno-Karabakh since there is no other guarantee. Will we accept a situation in which we face elimination? No! Do we want peace? Of course! Is there an alternative to peace? This also gives us something to think about.”