Newly elected president of Karabakh – conflict cannot be resolved without the participation of Karabakh itself
Without the full involvement of official Stepanakert in the negotiation process to resolve the Karabakh conflict, it is impossible to achieve an effective solution, newly elected President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic [ed. unrecognized by anyone, including Armenia] Arayik Harutyunyan said on April 22 on his Facebook page.
Harutyunyan presented his vision of the settlement process, dividing it into seven points.
The statement was published the day after online talks between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, who for almost two hours discussed the importance of observing the ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic and global crisis.
The statement was also preceded by a proposal by the head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on ways to settle the conflict, and a sharp response from the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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Former Prime Minister Arayik Harutyunyan was elected President of Nagorno-Karabakh in the second round of elections on April 14, 2020. According to the new constitution, which was adopted in 2017, Karabakh moved from a semi-presidential form of government to a presidential one. Accordingly, the new president Harutyunyan will now have significantly more powers than his predecessors.
Arayik Harutyunyan emphasized that although he “highly appreciates the exclusive role of the Armenian authorities”, nevertheless it is he who has the mandate of trust from the residents of Karabakh to negotiate.
Harutyunyan recalled that the Azerbaijani authorities continue to avoid direct negotiations with the real side of the conflict:
“This, along with periodically repeated provocations and policies of Armenian-phobia, significantly reduces honesty and trust in the aspirations demonstrated by official Baku.”
The statement said that in Karabakh “they are interested in a peaceful and final solution to the problem” and expect the same attitude from Azerbaijan.
7 points from the Karabakh president
Full text of the approach to the settlement of Arayik Harutyunyan:
- “The authorities of the Republic of Artsakh should fully and fully participate in all stages of the process of peaceful and final settlement of the conflict.
- The security of the people of Artsakh can in no way be compromised or bargained for.
- Without prioritizing the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination, no option for resolving the conflict can become the subject of meaningful discussion between the parties.
- There should be clear guarantees of the exclusion of attempts to use force and its threat in the process of resolving the conflict, since the Armenian and Azerbaijani people deserve to live in peace. Otherwise, the Republic of Artsakh is ready to deliver a disproportionate counterattack to attacking Azerbaijan by moving military operations to its territory.
- Any option to resolve the conflict excludes unilateral concessions or disproportionate and unequal compromises by the Artsakh authorities.
- In the process of conflict resolution and in related processes, Armenian refugees and internally displaced persons should be equally involved with Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons, and their problems should be similarly and simultaneously addressed.
- The international community (primarily the OSCE and the co-chairing countries) should exclude violations and restrictions on the rights of residents of Artsakh caused by the conflict and the international status of Artsakh, including de facto isolation from humanitarian international programs, which Azerbaijan is trying to use as a means of pressure, contrary to well-known principles international law. ”
The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry and his proposal for a settlement that provoked the protest of the Armenian side
A few hours before the videoconference with the participation of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also addressed the Karabakh conflict.
He said that during the negotiations on the Karabakh settlement, a draft phased settlement of the Karabakh problem is being discussed. In particular, Lavrov said, we are talking about the liberation of the areas around Karabakh (which are under the control of the Armenian side) and the unblocking of transport, economic and other communications. ”
Both in Yerevan and Stepanakert, such an approach is considered unacceptable.
The Armenian Foreign Minister said that such an item was never discussed at the negotiating table.
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan recalled that these territories, among other things, are a security and defense zone for Karabakh.
He stressed that a peaceful settlement is possible as a result of mutual compromises, rather than unilateral concessions.
The Armenian population in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic lives as a de-facto independent republic, unrecognized by any government in the world, including Armenia.
From 1991-1994, an armed conflict known as the Karabakh War took place between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and the surrounding area. The war ended when a truce was signed, but exchange of gunfire still continues to break out periodically. After the main military stage of the conflict ended, ethnic Azerbaijanis left Karabakh. Azerbaijan considers Karabakh and the surrounding territory taken during the war to be occupied, and demands that it be returned to Azerbaijan.
Negotiations held to settle the conflict have not yet yielded results. The last full-scale outbreak, known as the “April War” or the “Four Day War,” took place in April of 2016. Ten people from each side were killed as a result of the conflict.