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Full recognition of the right of the Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) to self-determination is not subject to reservation and concession, and the Armenians of Artsakh are the exclusive owners of that. Thus, only the authorities of Artsakh are authorized to speak on behalf of the population of Artsakh. This is stated in the Facebook post of President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan.

Dear compatriots,

Touching upon the recent statements by Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict and several concerns of the Armenians of Artsakh about those statements, I would like to stress a few main provisions that I have touched upon in different messages and statements several times, and those provisions are the following:

1. Full recognition of the right of the Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) to self-determination is not subject to reservation and concession, and the Armenians of Artsakh are the exclusive owners of that.

2. The aim of international recognition of the independence of Artsakh is our main benchmark, and no government can deviate from that. Thus, the people and authorities of Artsakh will never accept any status within the composition of Azerbaijan until our goal is not achieved.

3. There can’t be a return to the past in terms of not only status, but also demography. How can we talk about co-habitation when Azerbaijan continues to nourish its society with Armenophobia and prepare them for the emptying of Armenians of Artsakh, not peace? Of course, we support a peaceful settlement of the conflict and are ready to make efforts for this, but the vital rights, interests and demands of our people can’t be bargained.

4. The territorial integrity of Artsakh needs to be restored at least in the territories in which the Republic of Artsakh was declared in 1991. Thus, our seized territories need to be de-occupied, and the residents of those territories need to be able to return to their homes

5. As far as the security of Artsakh is concerned, we will continue to make efforts for strengthening of the capacities of the Defense Army, and the Russian peacekeeping contingent needs to remain in Artsakh until the ultimate and just settlement of the conflict and the provision of additional international guarantees for security.

6. Without touching upon the details of the process of negotiations in the past, we simply need to record that now the moment is much more responsible and crucial than ever. Consequently, we don’t have the right to make mistakes; otherwise, those mistakes may be fatal for Artsakh and Mother Armenia

7. If any Armenian wishes to support Artsakh, he or she must reckon with the will and goals of the Armenians of Artsakh; if not, he or she must simply not interfere.

8. All authorities are temporary, but our goals and positions need to be maintained. The unity around our national values and goals is important, and, as I mentioned, the guideline for every Armenian and every government for a settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict needs to be the will and goals of the Armenians of Artsakh.

Artsakh has been Armenian land for millennia and will remain an Armenian land, and the Armenians of Artsakh have sufficient will and strategic patience to continue the struggle. I am certain that the Armenians of Artsakh will continue their just struggle for international recognition of independence and defense of the Homeland,” he wrote.

Earlier, during his online press conference, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan made the following ambiguous statement on the status of Artsakh: “When Serzh Sargsyan used to say that Artsakh will never be a part of Azerbaijan, now he doesn’t say that his negotiations were about the fact that Artsakh needs to remain Armenian. I will go on and say that I don’t agree with that either because Artsakh couldn’t have been completely Armenian land. What do we mean by ‘Armenian’? Based on those negotiations, it was clear that Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast) was going to have Armenian and Azerbaijani populations. Would there be a legislature in Nagorno-Karabakh? Yes, there would be a legislature, but it wouldn’t be fully Armenian. There would be Azerbaijani quota and Armenian quota. Would there be local self-government bodies? Yes, but there would be not only Armenian, but also Azerbaijani local self-government bodies.”

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