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MFA: Karabakh status in negotiation process is legitimate, indisputable

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MFA: Karabakh status in negotiation process is legitimate, indisputable

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic/NKR), Masis Mayilian, has explained the position of Stepanakert in connection with the possibility of Artsakh’s return to the negotiating table, Azerbaijan’s stance, and the negotiation process toward resolving the Karabakh conflict.

Official Yerevan states the need to return Artsakh to the negotiation table. What is the possibility of it? Can you, please, present the position of Artsakh on this issue?

The position of Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the need to return Artsakh to the negotiation process completely coincides with the approaches of the authorities of Artsakh. The need to restore the full-fledged trilateral negotiation format has repeatedly been mentioned by the President of Artsakh, Bako Sahakyan, and other officials both in public statements and at the negotiations with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen for the past two decades. The former authorities of Armenia also raised this issue. The possibility of restoring the trilateral negotiation format was also admitted by the international mediators - the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen.

A few years ago, speaking as an independent expert, in an interview to the mass media I suggested that the authorities of Armenia and Artsakh clearly distribute the roles and powers of the two Armenian states in the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict with Azerbaijan. Ultimately, the Republic of Armenia could refuse to discuss with Azerbaijan and the mediators the key issues of the settlement, which, as agreed, would be attributed to the exclusive competence of the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh. Then the mediators and the third party would have no choice but invite the official delegation of Artsakh to the negotiation table.

The statement made by the new Prime Minister of Armenia in Stepanakert and Armenia’s National Assembly on his readiness to negotiate with the leadership of Azerbaijan exclusively on behalf of the Republic of Armenia actualizes the need to search for a mechanism for the restoration of the full-fledged trilateral negotiation format.

Why does the Azerbaijani party oppose the restoration of the full-fledged negotiation format, and what will Artsakh's participation in the negotiations bring?

The parliamentary delegation of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) had participated in the negotiations under the auspices of the CSCE Minsk Conference chairmanship since the summer of 1992. In September 1993, the leadership of Nagorno Karabakh was recognized by the CSCE states as one of the main parties to the conflict. In the future, within the frameworks of the CSCE-OSCE, the UN and the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, various documents evidencing Nagorno Karabakh as a party to the conflict were adopted. In particular, in March 1995, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in his Prague Resume confirmed the "previous OSCE decisions on the status of the parties, i.e. the participation of the two State parties to the conflict and of the other conflicting party (Nagorno-Karabakh) in the whole negotiation process, including in the Minsk Conference ". It should be noted that until December 1994, along with the Minsk Process, trilateral negotiations were held with the mediation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense of Russia. Besides the trilateral negotiations, in 1993, series of bilateral negotiations between Artsakh and Azerbaijan took place, including the high –level meeting in Moscow in September 1993. Some of the negotiations resulted in signing documents between Stepanakert and Baku.

In addition to the final document of the OSCE Budapest Summit of 1994 and the trilateral and termless ceasefire agreement of May 12, 1994, there are many examples of recognizing the NKR as a conflicting party by official Baku and the international community. The status of Artsa...

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