Artsakh has not been and will not be a part of Azerbaijan, this is the will of our people – Arayik Harutyunyan

Artsakh’s President Arayik Harutyunyan says a number of foreign political and security factors directly affect the present and future of the people of Artsakh.

In an video address to the people, he pointed out the following factors:

  • Over five-month-long blockade of Artsakh with increasing humanitarian and political challenges and security threats.
  • The deterioration of the humanitarian situation and the increase of risks due to the continuous disruption of the vital infrastructures of Artsakh.
  • The continuous increase in the risk of a new military aggression by Azerbaijan against Artsakh and the unconcealed aspirations of carrying out ethnic cleansing.
  • The serious breach of the Russian guarantees of the security of the people of Artsakh, enshrined in the tripartite statement of November 9, 2020.
  • The increase in geopolitical tension in the region and the aggressiveness of Azerbaijan due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
  • The continued weakening of the international legal system and the failure of the international community to ensure the security and fundamental rights of the people of Artsakh, as well as the implementation of the decisions of international courts.
  • The continuous weakening of Armenia’s positions in the process of settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and the steps aimed at recognizing Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan.

Given the above and other factors, the President appealed to his compatriots in Artsakh not to be discouraged and to be ready to continue the struggle, leaving aside the domestic differences and resolutely serve the same goal, strengthening and developing Artsakh.

“Artsakh has not been and will not be a part of Azerbaijan, because that is the will of our people, who have enough determination to fight for their rights and interests. I am sure that those fighting will not be left alone, and not only the whole of Armenia will continue to support our struggle, but there will also be valuable supporters in the international arena. Yes, the situation is difficult, but not hopeless, and Artsakh authorities are taking and will take possible practical steps to resist the external and internal challenges,” he said.

President Harutyunyan called on the people of the Republic of Armenia to actively and decisively prove that Artsakh cannot be recognized as part of Azerbaijan and that they continue to stand by this most important piece of the united Armenian homeland.

“After all, Artsakh is the homeland of all Armenians, with its unique significance for both Armenian statehood and the Armenian nation. The people of Armenia are the owners of the Republic of Armenia, and they must decide such nationwide and most important issues,” he noted.

Arayik Harutyunyan further appealed to the compatriots in the Diaspora, urging to shake off the feeling of disappointment, powerlessness and indifference and demand practical steps from the governments of the countries of citizenship and the Republic of Armenia in the direction of guaranteeing the right to self-determination and security of Artsakh.

“We expect that every Diaspora Armenian individual and organization will take all possible measures to support Artsakh and curb Azerbaijani criminal activities. The Diaspora has a huge untapped potential, which is able to ensure serious success in issues that are fatal for the Motherland,” he emphasized.

The President called on the authorities of the Republic of Armenia to refrain from any actions and statements to recognize Artsakh as a part of Azerbaijan, adhering to the obligations assumed by the domestic and international documents and the nationwide interests.

“There are clear principles and red lines, violation of which is unacceptable. And recognizing Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan is one of those red lines, which, we are sure, remains so for the majority of all Armenians,” Arayik Harutyunyan said.

He noted that in all actions related to Artsakh, the main landmark for the Republic of Armenia should be the expression of the will of the people of Artsakh, which was unequivocally demonstrated by the independence and constitutional referendums, with the unconditional support of the Republic of Armenia and the entire Armenian people.

The President of Artsakh also appealed to the authorities of the Russian Federation and personally President Vladimir Putin to ensure the obligations assumed by the tripartite statement of November 9, by opening the Lachin (Kashatagh) corridor, eliminating all Azerbaijani obstacles, freeing the 120,000 people of Artsakh from terrorist captivity and preventing aggressive Azerbaijani actions against the people of Artsakh.

“Regardless of the actions of the other parties of the Tripartite Statement, Russia has undertaken clear obligations, which were the most serious basis for ensuring the return of the people of Artsakh after the war. Therefore, we expect steady and decisive fulfillment of these obligations for the sake of the people of Artsakh and the interests of the Russian Federation, as well as the age-old friendship of the Armenian and Russian peoples,” he noted.

President Harutyunyan further addressed the people and authorities of Azerbaijan, urging to end the policy of hatred and genocide towards the people of Artsakh, to be ready to truly accept the principle of equality of peoples and the rights of the native Armenian people to Artsakh.

“We are ready for dialogue, conflict settlement and peace in an international format, but based on the norms and principles of international law, especially the rights of peoples to equality and self-determination, non-use of force and the threat of force, peaceful settlement of disputes and principles of territorial integrity. We do not pose any threat to Azerbaijan, but, on the other hand, the people of Artsakh have the right to self-defense, and the Republic of Artsakh has the obligation to protect its own people. Despite the constant threats from Azerbaijan, I am sure that the creation of a peaceful and dignified environment and the end of centuries-old enmity stem from the interests and aspirations of our peoples,” he added.

He also address all actors of the international community, and especially the UN Security Council, to ensure the proper implementation of the UN International Court of Justice decision of February 22, 2023, as well as to guarantee the security of the people of Artsakh by using the necessary tools, in accordance with the principles and goals of the United Nations.

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