Artsakh says ready for direct talks with Azerbaijan, calls for comprehensive settlement involving all parties

There is a clear format for the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict approved during the OSCE summit in Budapest in 1994, Artsakh’s Foreign Minister David Babayan said in an interview with Armenpress, stressing that the format, where Artsakh is recognized as a party to both the negotiations and the conflict, must be maintained.

“Of course, we are ready for direct talks with Azerbaijan, but a comprehensive settlement of the conflict is necessary with the involvement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, Azerbaijan, Artsakh and Armenia in that process. We can perceive direct negotiations differently, but when we talk about a political issue, then Azerbaijan must accept our subjectivity and recognize Artsakh as a full party to the conflict, only then can we can negotiate as equal to equal,” the Foreign Minister said.

He added that it’s understandable that Azerbaijan will do everything to avoid and not to meet the representatives of Artsakh, not to discuss the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict. Therefore, Babayan said, it is necessary to seek the restoration of the full format.

“There are contacts which are necessary. For instance, if a shepherd crossed into their area, then some contacts, of course, together with Russian peacekeepers, are needed for his return, for the search of the relics of our fallen soldiers. In other words, contacts couldn’t be avoided, which, however, cannot be called negotiations on external political issues,” he said.

Asked about the priority steps in the context of the latest Azerbaijani attack on Armenia and what issues are on the agenda in the diplomatic front, given the security challenges.

According to him, a very proper and wise foreign policy should be run, with a perception that it’s impossible to ensure the security of Artsakh, the reliable and dignified future of its people without it.

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