Armenian PM: still no clear idea of how to move forward in Karabakh conflict
The prime minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, spoke at the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) today. Among other issues, he touched upon Armenia’s relations with neighboring countries.
On the Karabakh conflict
Pashinyan said that he and the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, have communicated fairly sincerely and openly with each other at their recent meetings :
“We are committed exclusively to a peaceful solution to the conflict. It was important that we were able to start a constructive and positive dialogue with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, but it is not enough to solve the issue. It is important that a dialogue between societies begins, so that we prepare the nations for peace – not war.”
He also said that the main goal of the Armenian leadership in the negotiation process on Karabakh is to offer a formula for achieving peace. However, this goal has not yet been achieved:
“Unfortunately, so far we have no general ideas about the nuances and mechanisms for resolving the Karabakh conflict.”
The Armenian Prime Minister repeated his standpoint that the negotiation process can only be considered fully-fledged if Nagorno-Karabakh takes part in it:
“One of the issues is the launch of an all-inclusive format of negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group, which involves the participation of representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh in the peaceful settlement of the conflict. Throughout the negotiation process, Nagorno-Karabakh was represented at the negotiating table, and our goal is to create conditions so that this dialogue does not stop.”
Relations with neighbours
Pashinyan also commented on Armenia’s relations with neighbouring states and stressed that Yerevan is building relations within the framework of peace:
“We not only have neighbours with whom relations are not the best, we also have neighbours with whom we have established excellent relations, these being Iran and Georgia. We [continually] strive towards developing relations with these countries.
“Unfortunately, we have no relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey. With Azerbaijan, I think everything is clear. And with Turkey, things are a little different. Turkey links its relations with Armenia to [the situation with] Azerbaijan.”
Pashinyan further said that meetings with senior officials of European countries showed that colleagues understand the importance of relations between Armenia and Iran:
“They agree with our concept of preserving and developing good relations with Iran.”
He hopes that the situation around Iran will be resolved:
“Dialogue is the only way that, at the present stage of civilizational development in the 21st century, one should think about solving problems.”
During his speech at PACE, Pashinyan touched upon Armenia’s relationship with Russia. He reiterated that these are strategic.
He noted that the revolution in the country was aimed at solving internal problems. It was realized through the will of the residents of Armenia without the intervention of any external forces or the participation of other countries:
“The people of Armenia started a revolution for the sake of having a free future.”