The issue of Artsakh’s status cannot be separated from security, Armenian FM says

The issue of self-determination has always been and will remain on the agenda, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said at a joint press conference with his visiting Slovak counterpart Miroslav Lajčák.

Minister Mnatsakanyan read out an excerpt from his speech at the 26th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava in December 2019, which states: “The inalienable right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to self-determination represents a fundamental principle and foundation for the peaceful resolution. The recognition of this principle not to be limited in the scope of determination for the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh must be clearly and unequivocally accepted.”

“The term “without limitation” clearly implies also the right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to maintain and determine a status outside the jurisdiction, sovereignty or territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The persistent hostile policies and actions of Azerbaijan aimed at undermining and threatening the existential physical security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, including the latest attempted aggression by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016, emphasize the illegitimacy and  impossibility of claiming jurisdiction by Azerbaijan over the people of Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Foreign Minister continued.

“This is an important component in our approach to the Karaabkh conflict settlement,” Zohrab Mnatasakanyan told reporters today, adding that the status of Nagorno Karabakh and its security cannot be separated.

He emphasized the importance of risk reduction. “The growth of escalation risks will not allow to achieve real progress in the negotiation process. We had an important achievement in 2019 by reducing the tensions.”

He stressed, however, that there were still victims, and every death is too much.

“The method of threats will not work and is being strongly denied by Armenia and Artsakh,” the Foreign Minister stated.

Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák noted, in turn, that Slovakia supports the process of finding a solution to this issue within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.

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