Peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is of key importance for the stability and security of the region. The Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, noted about this as he addressed the general debate of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, on Wednesday in New York.
He said that from the very first day of his tenure, he has taken steps in this very context. He said, to this end, he had issued a statement stating that any resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be acceptable to the peoples of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan said it is noteworthy that he was the first Armenian leader to express such a position on the conflict settlement. The PM said he was strongly criticized in his country for a resolution that equates the three sides to the conflict. He added, however, that he believes this is the key to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, as it implies an opportunity for compromise, mutual respect, and balance.
He said he submitted this resolution not only to the public, but also within the framework of the negotiations being held under the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group. He added that to move forward, he was expecting a similar statement from Azerbaijan, too. However, as per Pashinyan, the highest authorities of Azerbaijan remained in their position, seeking a solution to the Karabakh problem that would be acceptable only to the people of Azerbaijan.
The Armenian PM said this means that the Azerbaijani authorities have no intention of resolving this conflict, instead, they want to defeat the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, and they do not want to compromise at all.
Pashinyan said Azerbaijan’s objective is revenge for its failed attempt of aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1990s and in 2016, and that is why it is stirring up anti-Armenian sentiments among its people, spending huge resources on armaments, and Armenophobia has already become the official policy of Azerbaijan.
The PM said that, in fact, Armenians’ adversaries want to bring back Nagorno-Karabakh’s status in Soviet times. But, as per Pashinyan, this is a futile endeavor, as the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region in the Soviet period declared their independence and exercised self-determination just as Azerbaijan did by leaving the Soviet Union, and therefore this position of Azerbaijan is tantamount to the idea of restoring the Soviet Union.
Pashinyan said the Azerbaijani government presents the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but Armenians do not agree at all with such an interpretation of the conflict. The PM stated that this is not a dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and this dispute is not about territorial claims, but about people, men, women, and their right to live in their homeland, just as their ancestors have lived throughout the centuries.
As per Pashinyan, sadly, the Azerbaijani authorities do not want to speak to these people and negotiate with them because they want to have territories, but not people; to be more precise: territories without people.
The Armenian PM said he finds it important to explain why he is referring to this topic. As per Pashinyan, it may seem that he wants to contribute to increasing tension in the region. In his words, however, of course not, on the contrary, he would like to say that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a very complicated and painful matter for the peoples of the region, and it cannot be resolved without hard and consistent work, compromise, mutual respect, and a balanced approach.
So, the Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan urged Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev to adopt the resolution to create conditions for progress in the peace process. As per Pashinyan, any solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be acceptable to the people of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Azerbaijan, and they must work together to make this resolution a reality.