Serzh Sargsyan: Minsk Group the only acceptable platform for Karabakh settlement

“For the Republic of Armenia the OSCE Minsk Group format is the only acceptable platform for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” President Serzh Sargsyan said in an address to the participants of the “Regional Security Dynamics in the South Caucasus” forum organized by the Institute for National Strategic Studies, the Ministry of Defense and the Political Science Association of Armenia.

“Armenia’s foreign policy is based on the mutually advantageous cooperation with regional and global actors, mutual respect, and principle of interest pooling. We are sure that the open borders and the implementation of common economic programs can become the best incentive for the formation of the environment of mutual understanding and trust, consequently, for the settlement of political problems. Meanwhile, the policy aimed at creating dividing lines between regional states will inevitably lead to the atmosphere of instability and distrust in the South Caucasus as a whole,” the President said.

“The critical challenges facing the region are unresolved conflicts, which need a comprehensive solution. Armenia is convinced that the existing conflicts can be settled only by peaceful negotiations on the basis of fundamental principles of the international law. For the Republic of Armenia the OSCE Minsk Group format is the only acceptable platform for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I want to put a special emphasize on the fact that a long lasting peace and stability can be achieved in the region only in case the Nagorno Karabakh population’s physical security and the right to independently decide its fate are guaranteed,” Serzh Sargsyan stated.

“The arms race unleashed by Azerbaijan in the region, its bellicose statements and the propaganda of hatred against Armenians at the highest state level – the latest manifestation of which was the glorification of the Azerbaijani officer Safarov who assassinated with axe the sleeping Armenian officer – seriously undermine the security not only of Armenia but also of the entire South Caucasus. Under these conditions Armenia is forced to focus greater attention on reforming and improving its defense system as a key factor in containing the belligerent ambitions of Azerbaijan and ensuring stability in the South Caucasus.”

“In 2008, Armenia initiated the process of Armenian-Turkish rapprochement offering as a first step the establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of the border without preconditions. In contrast to Turkey, Armenia today also adheres to the principles underlying the rapprochement,” President Sargsyan said.

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