Karabakh conflict settlement one of the most important issues in the region – Ara Babloyan

Membership in one integration framework does not restrict the cooperation opportunities of a country, if such cooperation does not contradict agreements reached earlier, Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly Ara Babloyan said, addressing the 2nd Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments.

“In 2016 Armenia was granted a dialogue partner status at the Shanhai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2016. The project of creation of a Silk Road Trade Zone is of great interest to us,” the Speaker said.

“This year we are going to sign the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, which will form the new legal basis for Armenia-EU relations,” he added.

Ara Babloyan said “development of economic cooperation is possible only in a secure environment, but there are conflicting regions in Eurasia, where restoring peace requires huge efforts.”

“The settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains one of the most important issues in our region. The only format for the resolution of the conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship, comprising Russia, France and the United States. According to the statements of the Co-Chairs, the issue should be solved on the basis  of principles of international law, namely non-use of force or the threat of force, the right of peoples to self-determination and territorial integrity, which, together with elements of settlement, are presented as an integrity,” Ara Babloyan said.

“The proposal of the Co-Chairs envisages establishing the final legal status of Nagorno Karabakh through the expression of will of the people of Nagorno Karabakh in a legally binding referendum. Azerbaijan consistently avoids the peace process, refusing to recognize the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination. In response to the Co-Chairs’ criticism of the use of force or the threat of force, the Azerbaijani leadership keeps stating that the international law is ineffective, and force sis the only solution to the issue,” the Armenian parliament Speaker stated.

He stressed that “the aggression Azerbaijan unleashed against Artsakh law April is yet another testament to the fact that there is no alternative to the realization of the right of its people to self-determination.”

“Armenia and Nagorno Karabakah, together with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, have always stood for a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Mr. Babloyan said. He called on his Azerbaijani counterpart to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the issue.

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