The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic is working hard at promoting an international recognition of the country’s independence, peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh, attracting the foreign investments to the NKR economy, as well as promoting along with the strengthening of Artsakh-Armenia-Diaspora cooperation. Karen Mirzoyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nagorno Karabakh, discusses the republic’s foreign policy prioritieswit the European Times.
European Times: What are the current priorities for the ministry?
Karen Mirzoyan: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was established on July 23, 1993.
Our current main goal is to achieve the settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh. The restoration of a full-fledged negotiation format with immediate and direct participation of the NKR in all its phases is very important: the absence of one of the main parties to the conflict at the negotiation table makes it difficult to achieve any real progress.
The efforts of the NKR Ministry of Foreign Affairs are aimed also at reinstating the positive tendencies towards the recognition of the NKR.
Another key goal is to maintain good bilateral relations with other countries, especially those with Armenian Diaspora.
European Times: How has Nagorno Karabakh recovered from the war to position itself as an investment target?
Karen Mirzoyan: The Nagorno Karabakh economy was totally destroyed during the war and we started its restoration from zero.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Karabakh people, as well as to the support of our compatriots outside, the NKR economy gradually began to restore and now it has strong potential for investments. Nagorno Karabakh has drawn major foreign investment in mining industry, ICT and agriculture.
The investors are attracted by our skilled working force and open, liberal investment environment.
European Times: What are some of your current infrastructure projects?
Karen Mirzoyan: We are building now strategically important highway, connecting the town of Martakert in Karabakh with the town of Vardenis in Armenia, which should be completed by the end of next year.
The rehabilitation of Stepanakert airport will also offer additional investment attractions and give a strong impetus for the tourism development in the country.
European Times: What do you want potential investors and visitors to know about Nagorno Karabakh?
Karen Mirzoyan: Karabakh is not only the name of the country. It is also the name of the people, living there, people who struggled for their freedom and independence.
Some say that Nagorno Karabakh is where Europe ends; we say it is where Europe begins.