Discussing political issues impossible unless military perspective ruled out – Artsakh FM

Political issues will be hard to discuss unless the military perspective is ruled out, Artsakh Foreign Minister Masis Mailyan said in an interview with Public Radio of Armenia.

“The Minsk Group Co-Chairs are definitely willing to give new impetus to the negotiations on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, but there are no prerequisites for it,” the Foreign Minister said.

He added that this is not connected with electoral processes [in Armenia and Azerbaijan]. “First of all, an atmosphere of trust should be established, and mechanisms for monitoring the ceasefire should be introduced,” he said.

According to Mr. Mailyan, it will be difficult to discuss political issues and move forward, unless the military perspective is ruled out.

Speaking about the statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs issued Sunday, the Foreign Minister voiced regret that “yet again the mediators failed to make a targeted call, instead urging the parties to take additional steps to reduce tensions.”

He added, however, that it’s clear to everyone that this is addressed to Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev after his recent territorial claims on Armenia.

“By strengthening Artsakh, we will create a lever that will restrain Azerbaijan’s appetite. By strengthening Artsakh we’ll solve a huge pan-Armenian issue,” he said.

The comments come in the wake of Aliyev’s statement that “Yerevan is Azerbaijan’s historic land.”

“We are guided by the reality that we are dealing with an unpredictable rival, and our army is always ready to resist any provocation. We are building out security and defense on the consideration that any development is possible any moment, and this has nothing to do with elections,” Mr. Mailyan said.

“There were no electoral processes in April 2016, when we witness new aggression,” Mr. Mailyan said, adding that “We must always be ready and we are always ready.”

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