Both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh have sufficient forces and resources to ensure their defense and security, and the crushing counterattack to Azerbaijan’s aggression in July reaffirmed this. This is what Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said in an interview with Interfax.
Asked what initiative should be undertaken to avoid such incidents in the future, the minister stated it is sad to see attempts to incite an atmosphere of hatred in not only this region, but also beyond this region. “In the peace process, exertion of maximum efforts to create an atmosphere contributing to peace is a major principle for Armenia. It is impossible to lead a process of peaceful negotiations in an atmosphere of hatred, war rhetoric and threat of use of force. There is no point in expecting progress in the negotiations when Azerbaijan incites hatred on the one hand and aspires for peace through statements on the other hand. It is impossible to assume that we can make real progress in the negotiations when there is ‘Armenophobia’ and bellicose rhetoric,” the foreign minister declared.
According to him, to avoid such conflicts in the future, it is first necessary to realize the need for a peace process and there has to be political will and concrete measures. “We are leading negotiations, including negotiations over different concrete actions that will help minimize this rhetoric and escalation of hatred. There are several proposals from our side and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. All these ideas need to be implemented. There is a good example, that is, the exchange of journalists from Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert last year. This is a major part of the whole peace process,” the minister recalled.
“What happened on July 12 and actually after April 2016 was an attempt to use force again and impose unilateral concessions on Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh – Interfax) through military operations. On July 12, an attack was made on the borderline posts located in the northeastern sector of Armenia (Tavush Province). Azerbaijan used a significant amount of weapons and technical equipment and bombarded peaceful civilians and civilian infrastructures. Armenia was determined and gave a counterattack to the aggression, reaffirming that this conflict has no military solution. Both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh have sufficient forces and resources to ensure their defense and security, and the crushing counterattack to the aggression in July reaffirmed this,” the foreign minister concluded.