Politics 14:04 17/11/2016 Armenia

Sargsyan: Armenia recognises Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, yet that has nothing to do with the self-determination of Nagorno Karabakh

President of Armenia reiterates that upon receipt of the 2007 Minsk Group proposals, the so-called Madrid Document, Yerevan expressed its readiness to embark on a peace process on the basis of the proposals, even though the document “was not the one we always dreamed about”. However, Azerbaijan was reluctant to even acknowledge the mere existence of such a document after having expressed their consent to begin negotiations in June 2008.

In an interview to Russian RIA Novosti news agency on November 17, Sargsyan elaborated that the three principles -- of non use of force or the threat of force, territorial integrity, equal rights and self-determination of peoples -- that are the main pillars of proposals tabled by the co-chairmen of OSCE Minsk Group in 2007, shall not be seen in contradiction to each other. For example, he said, the principle of non use of force or the threat thereof is something that guides the resolution of issues between states in civilised world.

“We do recognise the territorial integrity of all states, including Azerbaijan. Yet the [right of] self-determination of peoples in no ways contradicts the territorial integrity [principle], because the territorial integrity governs relations between states, while self-determination -- the capital and the people residing compactly on their historical homeland. If we deny the self-determination principle, we should not have left the Soviet Union, which we did exactly on the basis of this principle”, - President Sargsyan summarised.

It is noteworthy, that the International Court of Justice delivered a similar reasoning in the Advisory Opinion in the case of Kosovo independence declaration (22 July, 2010).

The Court cited few key international documents, such as the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act and others, and concluded that “the scope of the principle of territorial integrity is confined to the sphere of relations between States”.

Dmitry Kiselyov, the director general of “Rossiya Segodnya” international news agency, interviewed the President of Armenia on a range of issues related to the development of bilateral relations with Russia in military, political and economic spheres, Nagorno Karabakh peace process, prospects of normalisation with Turkey, etc.

Armenia, President Sargsyan said, was still hopeful that a peaceful resolution might be found and efforts of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen were important.

Reacting to Kiselyov’s remark that he wished the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan “would desire to stay in history as two leaders who brought peace to the region”, President Sargsyan elaborated:

“It is very important to me. It is very important, because I have devoted all my life to this issue”, adding that using force and other means of coercion by Azerbaijan against the inalienable right of peoples to self-determination in the case of Nagorno Karabakh had been both illegal, from the perspective of Soviet legislation or international law, and was in controversion with any set of values.



Source Panorama.am
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