“The July events proved that Armenia cannot be talked to in the language of force and threats” - PM receives Artsakh National Assembly delegation
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today received a delegation led by Artsakh National Assembly Speaker Artur Tovmasyan, who is in Armenia on official visit. Leader of Armenia National Assembly My Step faction Lilit Makunts and faction secretary Hakob Simidyan were in attendance.
Prime Minister Pashinyan delivered opening remarks, in which he stated:
“Distinguished Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh,
Dear representatives of the National Assemblies of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh,
I am happy to see you today. This is the first visit of such a representative delegation to Armenia after the latest elections held in Artsakh. I am pleased with this tradition, because we have a hectic agenda of cooperation between the two parliaments. I mean not only the synchronization of legislation: we are facing common security challenges and have a shared strategic vision, which needs to be coordinated, discussed on a regular basis in order to form a common strategic content.
I am glad to state that the cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh has been reinvigorated, and there is a very high level of mutual trust, which facilitates our work and creates preconditions for effective interaction.
You know that, unfortunately, the situation is tense in the region. In fact, as we face the task of making the negotiation process effective, we should understand what prevents it from being productive. The leadership of Azerbaijan has recently been trying to blame us for undermining the negotiations, based on the allegation that the statements issued by the Armenian side make the negotiations meaningless.
I wish to make it clear that our position is very constructive. I would like to reiterate that when I assumed the position of Prime Minister of Armenia, I made an unprecedented, namely that any solution to the Artsakh issue should be acceptable to the people of Armenia, the people of Artsakh and the people of Azerbaijan. I expected my statement to be reciprocated on the part of Azerbaijan’s leadership, which would provide a great opportunity to achieve a breakthrough in the negotiations. But their reaction consisted in that the Karabakh issue could only be resolved within the framework of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. In fact, they thereby set a precondition, which implied going back to the status quo of 1988.
The question may arise whether a conflict can be resolved by returning to its origins? This is beyond logic as instead of settling the conflict they actually want to trigger a new conflict. What is the point of setting the start of a new standoff as a goal for resolving a standing conflict? This is, of course, an illogical and destructive approach, and I consider it important to emphasize that our statements are an adequate response to Azerbaijan’s destructive approach.
At the same time, it should be clearly stated that Azerbaijan was just trying to build the negotiation process on the following logic: make unilateral concessions, otherwise we will solve the issue by force.
We stated from the very outset that Armenia should not be talked to in the language of force or threats. We have been trying for a long time to present this position both personally, remotely and publicly. May thought that this was just rhetoric, but the July events came to prove that what we said reflected the reality by 100%. Accordingly, I would advise them to give up this logic as it will lead to the same consequence.
I have repeatedly stated our position in public: the Karabakh issue has no military solution. If it were to be resolved through force, the people of Artsakh could say that they have solved it long ago. And that is all. But we say no. We believe that a lasting peace needs to be established in the region, and therefore we propose a working formula, we propose a solution. This is the personal responsibility of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Artsakh, and we must work hard to find a solution acceptable to the people of Armenia, the people of Artsakh and the people of Azerbaijan. Moreover, the order of listing is not at all important here. It could be said in the opposite order.
But, unfortunately, Azerbaijan’s leadership continues along the old path, adding a new component. Mass media outlets, government circles, the military and political leadership of Azerbaijan have recently added a new component to their propaganda - the so-called disclosure of confidential information.
I would advise my Azerbaijani colleagues not to follow this path, because if we enter this jungle and start spreading confidential information, I am afraid that the internal political situation will be hopelessly destabilized in Azerbaijan. Therefore, I advise them to return to the constructive field, and refrain from following the beaten path.
I expect the President of Azerbaijan to finally agree that any solution to the Karabakh problem should be acceptable to the people of Azerbaijan, the people of Armenia and the people of Artsakh. This would allow us to record a breakthrough in the negotiation process. Yes, I do believe that there is such a possibility, and Armenia has stated its readiness to be as constructive as possible.
At the same time, I would like to make the following statement: our actions have never been at odds with our statements made both openly and behind closed doors. I think no one doubts this. We only tell the truth to our people no matter we lose or win by doing so.
Here is an example related to coronavirus statistics. Any information about the epidemiological situation available to me is open to the public at large, with the difference that I may learn it a couple of hours earlier. We may suffer from it, but we cannot go another way and speak to our people in the language of puzzles and riddles.
In conclusion, I wish to reiterate that I am glad to see you. During this time, we had the opportunity to meet in other formats as well. I would be pleased to answer any questions of interest to you.”
The Artsakh National Assembly Speaker thanked the Armenian Prime Minister for a warm welcome and took the opportunity to congratulate him on the 29th anniversary of Armenia’s independence. Artur Tovmasyan hailed the current level of cooperation between Armenia and Artsakh, including the one underway in the inter-parliamentary format, which testifies to our shared determination to strengthen the homeland.
Artur Tovmasyan stressed that Artsakh’s National Assembly will spare no effort to further enhance and deepen the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora linkages. He stressed that their visit and the meetings held with the top leadership of Armenia provide a good opportunity for the furtherance of cooperation.
Answering the questions asked by the members of the Artsakh National Assembly delegation, Prime Minister Pashinyan touched upon the negotiation process, the strengthening of the Armenia-Artsakh-Spyurk Trinity, the reforms being implemented in different spheres and the national goals and objectives.