Armenian PM at UN General Assembly: “Karabakh will not be part of Azerbaijan”
Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke yesterday at the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. His speech lasted around 17 minutes. Here are the main points:
Revolution and early parliamentary elections
Nikol Pashinyan began his speech by talking about the Velvet Revolution which took place earlier this year, and how he and his supporters were able to peacefully come to power.
“The people of Armenia achieved something unprecedented which nobody expected. Without violence, without a single victim and without mass riots. Our intention was to organise a revolution of love and solidarity. From the beginning we categorically denounced the use of violence. When we showed our dedication to the principle of non-violence, the entire country stood up against the ruling regime, in unity and solidarity. We won without a single shot fired, without a single victim, all within the framework of peaceful demonstrations.”
Nikol Pashinyan also noted that Armenia’s parliament had elected him as prime minister due to the show of public support. Moreover, he drew attention to the fact that the current composition of the National Assembly does not reflect the will of the people, given that the last elections were falsified.
“An important test in holding fair elections were the recent elections to Yerevan’s Council of Elders, which were held before my departure for New York. The fact that all candidates congratulated the victor and did not put the results of the election in question shows that there is a new political culture being built in Armenia. We are preparing for parliamentary elections in Armenia in the same spirit. Free and fair elections will become the incontrovertible reality in Armenia.”
Nikol Pashinyan also announced that his government intends to guarantee the expression of the will of the people not only through elections but through referendums as well.
Syria and Karabakh
Pashinyan also spoke about global crises and noted that Armenia is ready to expand its humanitarian mission in Syria.
“The sizeable Armenian community in Syria is under existential threat because of the continuing crisis. Armenia has tried to do its share and provide humanitarian relief to the most vulnerable regions. Armenia is ready to expand its humanitarian mission in Syria, which is aimed at providing for the vital needs of our community in Syria.”
Pashinyan further touched on the Karabakh conflict, and said that the leadership of the unrecognised republic must participate in the negotiation process.
“If Azerbaijan truly abides by the principles of peaceful regulation, then it must begin negotiations with the main side of this conflict – Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan announces on every possible occasion that Karabakh must remain part of its territory. At the same time, it says that it will not enter into negotiations with Nagorno-Karabakh. The question is the following: How can Azerbaijan lodge complaints against Nagorno-Karabakh but not communicate with it? How is that possible? It is possible only because the government of Azerbaijan wants to aquire the territory, not the people.”
Pashinyan further stated that the leadership of Azerbaijan wants to cleanse Karabakh of Armenians.
“Thus, Nagorno-Karabakh may come to the conclusion that to be a part of Azerbaijan would lead to utter destruction. In order to prevent another genocide of the Armenian people, Karabakh cannot be a part of Azerbaijan.”