Nikol Pashinyan: We will do ‘all our best’ to return Artsakh to negotiating table

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday reiterated his support to the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) peace process, promising intensive efforts towards returning the country to the negotiating table.

At a news conference (with of local and international media) held after his talks with President Bako Sahakyan, the premier also voiced his concerns over Azerbaijan’s belligerent rhetoric, which he said runs counter to the Armenian sides’ peaceful intentions.

“If the international community, including Azerbaijan, have a real desire to resolve the Karabakh issue, it isn’t absolutely logical then to consider it in a format not promising any solution. How can the [existing] format offer any solution at all without the participation of a pivotal role-player? Hence the issue whether or not we want any solution is in the pragmatic rather than the emotional domain.

The Armenian authorities can speak on behalf of the Republic of Armenia – which is also a party to the conflict, and which, in essence, will fully support its position. As to Artsakh, however, that country itself has to speak on its own behalf,” he added.

Pashinyan said he strongly rules out any mutual concession in the light of the Azerbaijani authorities’ repeated threats to seize the southern regions of Armenia (as well as capital Yerevan and Lake Sevan)

“Mutual concessions may be on our agenda provided we receive a clear message from Azerbaijan that Baku is ready to recognize the Artsakh people’s right to self-determination,” he said.

As an important moment for the international community, Pashinyan stressed the importance of developing the clear-cut understanding of the reality “that the Artsakh issue deals with human rights in essence.”

“Because the Artsakh problem is the direct aftermath of the fact that Azerbaijan not only proved unable to secure the minimal rights of the Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region but also created threats to their life and safety, and their right to identity. In other words, they posed a real challenge to the existence of people in Artsakh by taking specific actions such as battles against the civilians,” he noted.