February 26
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One of the participants of the meeting hosted by Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a representative of the Azerbaijani community of Germany said that after Pashinyan came to power, many people in Azerbaijan hoped that Armenian troops would be dislocated from Nagorno-Karabakh, but Pashinyan declared that “Artsakh is Armenia, period”. The representative asked the following question: “What will happen to that hope?”

“I already stated the formula. The issue can’t be solved through unilateral actions. Even if we assume that any government of Armenia takes unilateral actions, this will deepen the issue, not solve it,” the Prime Minister said.

Nikol Pashinyan said Baku only talks about territories, but the Armenian side is concerned about security.

“Azerbaijan loves to talk about territories, but it’s very important to understand that Armenia is talking about security. Azerbaijan is a country where people turn a person into a hero for killing an Armenian…I don’t know if you or the attendees are aware that in 2004, NATO invited officers from Armenia and Azerbaijan to participate in a peace program during which an Azerbaijani officer axed an Armenian officer in his sleep. After the murder, a trial was held in Budapest and the Azerbaijani officer was sentenced to life in prison. After a while, the Hungarian government decided to extradite the officer to Azerbaijan, and as soon as he arrived in Azerbaijan, the President signed a decree on releasing the officer and paid the salaries that he hadn’t received in the whole period. The officer received an apartment, a military rank and was encouraged and turned into a hero through the media. The buffer zone that Azerbaijan is talking about emerged because of this logic. When the Azerbaijanis were bombarding peaceful settlements, people, peaceful civilians and children wouldn’t come out of basements for years.

When there are talks about territories, we Armenians view this as security. First of all, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic isn’t ready to cede its security, not the Republic of Armenia. The solution to this issue may only be linked to security guarantees that haven’t existed and don’t exist. As for my statement “Karabakh is Armenia, period”, there is a very clear and specific explanation for this. Armenia has stated that it will view Azerbaijan’s attack on Karabakh as an attack on the Republic of Armenia. The Republic of Armenia is the guarantor of Karabakh’s security, and this says it all.

I would like to make it clear that we haven’t seen any constructivism from Azerbaijan during the negotitions over the past year-and-a-half, but I would also like to assess the situation that President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and I have reached since 2018 when we first met, and after our meeting, there has been unprecedented low tension in the region and on the border. I hope constructive discussions help us not only maintain this relatively stable and tranquil situation, but also move towards a legal resolution.”

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