Artsakh values Iran’s balanced stance on conflict settlement – Foreign Minister

Artsakh values Iran’s balanced stance on the Karabakh conflict settlement, Artsakh’s Foreign Minister Masis Mayilian said in an interview with Iranian “Shargh” Daily.

“The fact that Iran acted as mediator in this conflict in the first half of 1992 is a testament to the fact that the country is interested in maintaining peace in the region. This is further supported by Tehran’s willingness to again take up a mediating role in the settlement process.” The Foreign Minister said.

Masis Mayilian voiced regret that the border between Artsakh and Iran remains closed and pledged his country’s willingness to have open borders and good-neighborly relations with all countries in the region. “I think this meets the interests of all role-payers interested in the region,” he said.

Speaking of his experience as Foreign Minister of an unrecognized country, Minister Mayilian said the country, which proclaimed independence in 1991, has all features of state, primarily aimed at creating conditions conducive to secure development.

“The lack of UN recognition cannot question the reality of Artsakh acting as an important military-political factor in the region,” he said.

The Foreign Minister said “the process of Artsakh’s international recognition has started.”

Asked about the possibility of “giving away certain territories” in case of signing a deal with Baku, Masis Mayilian said: “Our today’s state borders do not exceed those of  historic Artsakh. Furthermore, some territories of the Artsakh Republic, including Shahumyan region, parts of Martakert and Martuni, which form 15 % of the republic’s area, are still under Azerbaijani occupation.”

“The areas under Artsakh jurisdiction are fixed by the Artsakh Republic Constitution adopted by popular referendum, which expresses the will of our people,” he added.

Speaking about the negotiations under the aegis of the OSCE Minsk Group, the Foreign Minister said “today there is no negotiation process in its classical sense. Since 1997 the mediators have been applying the method shuttle diplomacy, working with parties to ensure agreement on certain issues, which will form the basis for continuing the talks.”

Minister Mayilian said the war unleashed by Azerbaijan in 2016 was a blow to the peace process, which further postponed the perspective of reaching a final solution to the conflict.

“The main objective today is to reinforce peace and stability in the region, and this is what the mediating efforts are targeted at,” he said.

The Foreign Minister said Artsakh is interested in the soonest settlement of the issue” and believes that it will allow to ensure stability and prosperity for all peoples in the region.

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