"Self-determination is a key point in the negotiations on Karabakh" – Armenian FM
The right to self-determination was one of the key points of the negotiation process on Karabakh and it cannot be excluded from the agenda by using military force, the Armenian Foreign Minister said in Paris at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.
France is the second country to which the new Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan has travelled since his appointment.
On December 6-7, he visited Russia and held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Both countries are co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, within the framework of which peace talks on the Karabakh issue are being held.
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Violation of international obligations
“Azerbaijan and Turkey, having started military aggression against the self-determination of Karabakh, violated their international obligations. Azerbaijan also violated its obligations on the peace process,” FM Ara Ayvazyan said at a meeting with journalists.
The international community, in his opinion, since September 27 when the war began, has realized that the Nagorno-Karabakh problem is not a banal territorial dispute:
“Ethnic cleansing and war crimes were committed in all territories of Artsakh which came under the control of Azerbaijan, which once again proves the need to resolve the issue of recognizing the right of Artsakh to self-determination. Only then, I think, it will be possible to achieve a just peace and only then will we be able to think about a new era of peaceful existence in the South Caucasus”.
On prisoners and the return of refugees
The inhumane and cruel attitude towards Armenian prisoners of war and civilians held in Azerbaijan requires strong condemnation, the Armenian Foreign Minister said.
According to him, the cruelty not only does not receive an appropriate assessment from the top leadership in Azerbaijan, but also enjoys public support:
“Armenian medieval cultural and religious monuments in the occupied territories of Artsakh, which the Azerbaijani side is trying to destroy, desecrate or falsify their origin, have also become the target of Armenophobia.”
The minister stressed again that the Armenian side expects an immediate exchange of prisoners of war and the return of the bodies of the dead.
Armenia, according to Ara Ayvazyan, is also concerned about the security issue of the return of the Armenian population, who were forced to leave their homes during the military operations in Karabakh.
Ara Ayvazyan thanked his French counterpart for the humanitarian aid provided to Armenia:
“In recent months, we have really felt the sincere support and sympathy of the French people, state and public circles.”