Artsakh State Minister responds to Aliyev’s “willingness to start dialogue”

Artsakh’s State Minister Ruben Vardanyan today welcomed the “desire of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to start a direct dialogue with Artsakh.” He noted that “Artsakh should be subjective in this process.”

“I also welcome the establishment of a new format for direct negotiations through international mediation. France, whose Senate recently adopted a resolution containing a clause on the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh, must be among the international mediators, along with Russia and the United States,” Vardanyan said in a Facebook post, reminding that France is also a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.

The State Minister suggested “moving to a more constructive tone” and said he would like to get clarifications about the “clear agenda” Aliyev supposes he has.

“I have repeatedly stressed that I renounced Russian citizenship to avoid accusations that I am pursuing someone else’s interests in Artsakh, except for the interests of the people of Artsakh. I believe that I fully comply with the criterion of a negotiator put forward by Mr. Aliyev,” Vardanyan said.

The comments come after Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev said “Azerbaijan is ready to talk about the rights and security of the Armenians of Karabakh with people living there.”

“If they [Armenia] want to talk about the rights and security of Armenians in Karabakh, then this will not work. We are ready to talk about this with the Armenians living in Karabakh. We are ready to talk with people who live in Karabakh and want to live there. We are ready for this. By the way, this process has begun,” the President of Azerbaijan said. He stressed that without interference from the outside and attempts to stop this process, it “could go more dynamically.”

“War always brings war. Sometimes this happens even after a change of several generations. Aggression today is a time bomb laid under the future generations of our peoples. This means that the leaders of the two sides must assume full responsibility and, no matter how difficult it may be, sit down at the negotiating table and stop the bloodshed,” Ruben Vardanyan said in response.

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