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The Azerbaijani ex-president, Heydar Aliyev, has actually recognized and negotiated with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, said Armenian Deputy FM Shavarsh Kocharyan at the conference “Cooperation for Justice and Peace” held in Stepanakert.

The deputy minister touched upon two questions: why the negotiation process, which took place over many years with the participation of such authoritative mediators, three members of the UN Security Council, has no progress. And why has the impeccably implemented act of self-determination turned into a bloody conflict?

“In fact, there is a result. This is a ceasefire deal of May 1994. Its signing became possible following the results of direct talks between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, a document was prepared, which Armenia joined,” Kocharyan noted. He recalled that Heydar Aliyev instructed the vice speaker to meet with Artsakh official and prepare a meeting of representatives of the two countries.

“The document was written in Russian and it uses the abbreviation “NKR”- the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Heydar Aliyev signed it. That is, it can be stated that Azerbaijan recognized Artsakh as a party to the talks and conducted direct talks at different levels,” he said.

According to him, now Azerbaijan is avoiding direct talks and pretending that there is no such entity as Artsakh.

“Therefore, he does not want progress in the talks. No one is authorized to speak instead of Artsakh about issues that are in the direct jurisdiction of Artsakh, for example, the territorial integrity of Artsakh. As for the status, even the Artsakh authorities are limited by the will of the people and referendum,” the deputy minister noted adding that Azerbaijan, under the guise of talks, is conducting a propaganda war to try to prove to the international community that the conflict with Armenia is related to a territorial dispute. 

“But the facts speak otherwise, the above agreement is evidence of this,” Kocharyan noted.

According to him, the reason for the conflict is that Azerbaijan really does not want talks and compromises, recognizing only force. Azerbaijan responded to the peaceful aspirations of the Artsakh people with barbaric actions that contradict the notions of civilization - the massacre of Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, the assassination of Gurgen Markaryan, the April war, during which such barbaric actions that were inherent in extreme radical groups were carried out in just four days.

“The Armenian parties are talking about self-determination, Azerbaijan is talking about territorial integrity. But international law does not oppose these principles,” Kocharyan noted referring to the example of Serbia and Kosovo.

“Because for self-determination, people should not ask permission from someone. The Helsinki Final Act and its eighth principle formulate this: all nations always have the right, at their own discretion, without external interference to decide their status,” he said.

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