Serious progress impossible without Artsakh’s participation in all stages of negotiations: FM





President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakyan had a meeting in Yerevan with OSCE Chairman-in-Office, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier this morning.

“The meets was held in a sincere atmosphere. The parties exchanged views on issues related to the ways out of the current situation,” NKR Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan told reporters after the meeting.

“The steps that will pave the way for restoring the negotiation process shave long been discussed. These include the development and implementation of the investigation mechanism, as well as the expansion of the office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office. We expressed our views on the matter. It was noted, in part, that the proposals are in line with those Karabakh has been offering since early 2000. The Artsakh side has made a number of other proposals, which will not only allow to build confidence between the parties, but also pave the way for the uninterrupted negotiation process,” Minister Mirzoyan told reporters.

Frank Walter Steinmeier told a press conference yesterday that “the maintenance of the status–quo is impossible in the long run. Commenting on this, the NKR Foreign Minister said “we first need to understand what we mean under status-quo.”

“The current status of Artsakh, which does not ensure full rights to its people, does not provide an opportunity for the uninterrupted continuation of the process of independent state-building in Artsakh, is definitely unacceptable. It’s necessary to take all steps to reach the legal formulation of the achievements we have had over years,” he said.

The Minister said “official Stepanakert remains committed to the peaceful settlement of the issue within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, but stresses the importance of restoring the full format of negotiations with the participation of Artsakh.

“This is our official position. It’s not only the demand of Artsakh, but also an objective reality that serious progress is impossible without Artsakh’s full participation in all stages of the negotiation process,” Minister Mirzoyan said.

Mirzoyan said it was made clear during the meeting that irrespective of the situation in the negotiations and the status quo, the people of Artskah have humanitarian needs and the OSCE, as a serious international organization, should take steps in that direction.

“The rights and freedoms of the people of Artsakh are being violated because of blockade. I mean the freedom of movement, education, and other right. I think the OSCE can also play serious role in this respect,” he said.

Speaking about the situation at the line of contact, Karen Mirzoyan noted that “the more stable the situation, the better conditions it will create for the diplomats and the negotiating parties for launching constructive dialogue.”

He added that “no matter where the next meeting is held, it’s important to reach agreement on the conditions and formats that will allow to restore the negotiation process.”

“There is definitely a common understanding  among the international community and the Armenian party that there is no military solution to the Karabakh conflict, and the peaceful negotiated settlement is the only option. The sooner Azerbaijan comes to understand this, the sooner will it be possible to further the process,” Karen Mirzoyan concluded.

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