Number one beneficiary of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is Artsakh and the people of Artsakh. A consultation chaired by Nikol Pashinyan and Arayik Harutyunyan took place
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A consultation took place at the Government of Armenia chaired by the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan on the programs being implemented in Artsakh and the ways to solve the existing problems. Officials representing the financial and economic bloc of the governments of Armenia and Artsakh took part in the discussion.
Before starting the discussion, Nikol Pashinyan and Arayik Harutyunyan made opening remarks, which are presented below.
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan:
Honorable President of the Republic of Artsakh,
I am glad to see you, welcome. Of course, we are in constant, daily contact, but such meetings give an opportunity to summarize the joint work, to plan further activities.
I want to emphasize the following circumstance. In fact, both before and after the 44-day war in 2020, and also during the war, we always coordinated our work and assessed it important that the authorities of Artsakh be fully informed about our plans, including the content and process, challenges and opportunities of the negotiations on Nagorno Karabakh conflict.This principle has always been observed, will remain the same.
You know, sometimes I think that there is no need to emphasize that, because it's so logical that sometimes it can even be superfluous. But once again I want to state that the number one beneficiary of the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is Artsakh, the people of Artsakh. And, consequently, thinking about negotiating, implementing something secretly is simply illogical, it is simply impossible to imagine such a thing.
That's why we are always in touch with you, Mr. President. Our other partners also work in parallel with Artsakh’s partners.
I consider it important, I appreciate your recent statement that the Artsakh authorities are also, in fact, adopting the peace agenda. And I want to say that the agenda of peace is in no way an agenda of defeat. The agenda of peace is the agenda of overcoming the horror of war, the difficulties that followed the war, it’s an agenda to guarantee the security, the rights, the future of the people. And I must say that as a result of very hard work, I have to state today that I see the way, moreover, I see the sequence of steps that should lead us to the destination that we are constantly talking about, discussing. That is, the guarantee of the security and rights of the people of the Republic of Armenia, of the Artsakh Republic and, as I have said before, there is a very important principle, that is the people of Artsakh should live in Artsakh, consider themselves Armenians of Artsakh, Armenian of Karabakh, Armenian in one word. And this is the agenda that we must move forward together.
But I also want to say that a huge part of our joint work is related to the socio-economic sphere. And this is a key issue, because it is essential that we do everything to make conditions for the people to live in Artsakh, to feel safe, to see their future living in Artsakh. Of course, this also goes for the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, about the Republic of Armenia, I am convinced that we are moving in the right direction. This is very important. I am convinced that we are moving in the right direction, I am happy, when the Artsakh authorities share that conviction.
I once again welcome you, Mr. President, dear colleagues, wishing a fruitful discussion today.
President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan
Honorable Mr. Prime Minister,
Fortunately, today there is a general political atmosphere in Artsakh, the Armenians of Artsakh first of all, of course, welcome and accept the agenda of peace, because there might be no one who knows the price of peace better than the people of Artsakh. But, on the other hand, I want to note that we do not see any direction to deviate from our right to self-determination, which we started from the first day of the movement. Therefore, I want to thank you for the opinion that any topic, any document will be discussed with the Artsakh government, and naturally, will stem from the mood of the people. Of course, it should be noted that no other way is possible, that is, it is not possible to have a document that will be rejected by the people of Artsakh. We all understand that, and in that sense we have a long political struggle.
The second is the security component, which is the most important today. Fortunately, recently it seems to have stabilized with the direct mediation of Russian peacekeepers, and today provides an opportunity to discuss socio-economic programs.
And the most important is the socio-economic at this stage. If there is no population in Artsakh, then it becomes meaningless to talk about the political struggle and security. That is why the demographics, the socio-economic programs are becoming important again today, the programs that started after the war are continuing. And we think that they should not only continue, but awe should also complete the ambitious programs we have started. And our main goal, the main issues at this stage are the political, security, demographic and socio-economic issues. We never faced any problems over those. But there are some questions on which we expect to receive answers during today's discussion, which will determine our further steps in terms of continuing those programs. Thank you.
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pshinyan
Mr. President, you have rightly noted that security is the number one issue today, and I have to note that the invasion of the Azerbaijani units into the responsibility zone of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno Karabakh continues to be a concern for us. And we, as we have said several times, continue to hold that position, expressing hope that the representatives of the Russian peacekeeping contingent will consistently ensure the withdrawal of Azerbaijani units from the area of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno Karabakh. This is an important issue, I think it is an important issue also for the people of Artsakh for assessing the system of security guarantees that is currently introduced in Artsakh. Thank you.